When John Kittler went to wash his SUV he had no idea it would lead to a good news Facebook post that would go viral within the city.
His post about an employee at the local car wash going above and beyond to help customers garnered hundreds of likes in the first few hours and as of the writing of this article had 969 likes and other reactions.
“Which is more than I’ve ever seen,” said Kittler who owns Chestermere Landing.
Kittler had decided that it was time to wash the accumulation of dust and grime off his SUV.
When he arrived he found that Curtis Gillespie, an employee of the car wash, was washing a woman’s car.
As he pulled in, Kittler jokingly asked if Gillespie was going to wash his car too.
“I just said are you going to wash mine now too,” said Kittler.
He was told that the driver of the other car was claustrophobic and couldn’t face using the automatic car wash.
Kittler said that usually what he expects to see would be an employee that is apologetic but can’t do anything to help in that situation.
Instead, Gillespie who couldn’t drive the car through the auto wash himself, found a solution to get the car washed for the customer.
He decided he could help her out and washed her car for her in one of the bays.
Already impressed with what he had seen, Kittler noticed as he left that Gillespie was helping another customer attach her registration sticker to her license plate.
When he got back to a computer, Kittler decided to post what he had seen as a good news foil to all the negativity found online.
He said that often times when someone has a bad experience in Chestermere they will post to Facebook, people then start to comment and the negativity builds from there.
Despite this, Kittler uses the I Love Chestermere Facebook page to advertise his business and connect with the community and chose to post about his experience there.
“There’s 12,500 people on it and 20,000 people in town,” he said, “it’s the best way to reach people.”
“People read that thing religiously,” he said, “and unfortunately what I’ve seen in the past is usually the things that get the most attention are the ones that are negative.”
In his experience chatting with customers as owner of the Landing, people are a lot happier in Chestermere than the social media conversations would lead one to believe. He feels that the reaction to this post confirms this.
Knowing that social media tends to highlight the negative, he was shocked to see the likes rocket past 500 in the first few hours after he posted.
“Nothing’s ever gone over 500 that I know of,” said Kittler.
Gillespie isn’t on Facebook and was completely shocked when he started receiving texts and messages telling him about the post.
“I read it and went that’s really cool,” he said.
“It was the last thing I ever expected, I’m just doing my thing, doing my job,” said Gillespie.
Helping and finding solutions for the customers is just how Gillespie does his job, he didn’t think he was doing anything special by helping those customers.
“I always look at it from a customer stand point.
“If I’m that customer…what do I look for from a customer standpoint,” he said.