Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar!


“No one can make you serve customers well. That’s because great service is a choice.”

Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: “I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.”

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally’s Mission Statement:
“To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.”

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”

My friend said jokingly, “No, I’d prefer a soft drink.”

Wally smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.”

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”

Handing him his drink, Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.”

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card.
“These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

“Tell me, Wally,” my amazed friend asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wally smiled into the rearview mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the  personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called “You’ll See It When You Believe It”. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself.

He said, “Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.”

“That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I take it that has paid off for you,” Harvey said.

“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

The above is based on a true story. This cabbie is based out of NY City. And I personally and truly love such customer service.

Give it a thought, how true it is. How many times we just start our day by complaining; – “Oh No! It’s a Monday.” And then go feeling miserable the entire day.

How many times, have we got up in the morning, felt the excitement within and exclaimed “This is going to be the BEST day of my life”. Now even if after saying that you seem to not have a good day then turn around and do say and feel “This too shall pass”.

At the end of the day, go to bed content that you know and feel right from the bottom of your heart that you have done the best you could. At the end of it, you will be the one who would have changed your own life forever.

Explore posts in the same categories: Philosophy, Philosophy of Life

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11 Comments on “Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar!”

  1. SanityFound Says:

    I love this, so very true though I do love ducks just not the ones that are brain drains.

  2. deepsm25 Says:

    Thank You!!! Though, you will always be my favourite Duck, gurl 🙂

  3. Reema Says:

    Wonderful post and nice story! Its all a matter of what choices we make in our life.

  4. Great story and post, enjoyed the inspiration, which I need before starting the new school year. As a sixth grade teacher in a low performing public school, my students are a challenge in many different packages and shapes. I always end vacation in the beginning of August to start my planning process. I use the first week to meditate, reflect and to set my goals as a teacher, mentor, coach and as a friend, and teammate on a very good team or staff. Here it is the first day of this week and I accidently found your site with many points to ponder about and inspiration to help me get through another exciting and successful year as a teacher. Now in my fourteenth year in a very enjoyable and fullfilling second career, I feel that I need this time to refill the old gas tank and start the year off on a positive step forward. Two other comments; I have read Harvey McKay’s column in our local newspaper for years and have read them, discussed them and had them write in their personal journals about the articles and discussion. Most of the students volunteer their journals for me to read and I usually respond to their journal entry in their journals with a personal note.But I have come to look forward to Mr. McKay’s column and words of inspiration and wisdom. Enjoyed and booked marked your site for future inspiration. Thank you. Salvador Inocensio Jr.

  5. deepsm25 Says:

    Hi Salvador Inocensio Jr.

    Wow, I so agree to the fact that being a Teacher is JUST not being a teacher but you are expected to so many roles. We all need inspiration at some point of time in our lifes. I am sure, you will be able to impart all that you have learnt and been inspired by to those young people who look upon you. The role of a teacher is somone that would be shaping someone lifes for the good and giving them that base where their entire lifes foundation will be built on. I am glad you enjoyed my site.

    I will certainly visit yours to check on Harvey McKay’s teachings 🙂 Cheers Cya Around!

  6. Peter Says:

    Good story, good inspiration.
    “Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar!” indeed had made my day.

    Deeps: Hi Peter, Welcome to my blog. Glad you liked it. See you around soon!!

  7. David Says:

    “I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it.”

    Make that three!I’ve done everything except the mission statement-and that’s next!

  8. Brilliant! Inspiring and very true.

  9. Anne Says:

    who wrote this? Harvey Mackay?

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