Smiles? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Smiles!


The Washington Times is reporting on a new "have a nice day" initiative over at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, heretofore known for its DMV-like etiquette.

CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced the new initiative yesterday, saying the move would ensure that the agency and its personnel practice the highest of standards in professionalism.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the guardian of this country's borders, but it is also the face of our nation and the U.S. government to all who enter," Mr. Bonner said in announcing the program….

Mr. Bonner said he expected "professionalism and courtesy" to be the hallmark of CBP officers at the nation's 317 ports of entry and noted that signs will be posted at all air, sea and land ports inviting those who are not treated fairly to complain.

Like many bureaucratic initiatives, this one is likely to get stonewalled by employees. Sez the head of the group (not clear if it's a union per se from the Times' account):

"It appears this program is an admission they are more concerned about meeting and greeting commerce and tourism than in protecting our nation's borders from terrorists, illegal aliens, criminals and others who would do us harm."

As if it's an either/or thing. This sort of management-employee standoff makes you marvel all the more at places such as McDonald's which, while far from perfect, manage to build throughout a massive, decentralized organization a fairly uniform, and positive, user experience.

Whole Times story here.