Unfortunately, it seems to take opposites to make us remember or appreciate some things.

We take our good health for granted most of the time, until we catch the flu. We, or at least most of us, complain about the summer heat when it is over 90, until we have day after day of below zero. Time, station in life, and perspective have much to do with that.

A younger driver running late on his way to pick up his date may wonder why the car in front of him is only doing 50. As he passes them he sees an older couple appreciating the opportunity to enjoy one more late afternoon drive through the countryside, fondly remembering the days years ago when they were dating.

A small child gets tired of trying to catch a fish in the same cove and wonders why grandpa doesn't move the boat again. Grandpa appreciates the shade that he found and wants the time he gets to spend with his grandson to slow down.

We are the third car in line at the drive-up window wondering why the car at the window is taking so long with only one person in the car...until we see two small heads pop up from the back seat, and then another one from the front seat, and the server hand out two large bags of what has to be kids' meals for excited children.

The young business owner spends 10 to 12 hour days in the store, showing up with colds and foregoing vacations to get his business off on a good foot and dreaming of a chain of stores. An older business owner, still sets the tone for work, but is willing to take off early on a pretty Friday afternoon sometimes just to go home and sit still on the back patio and count his blessings that he has a store that put two children through college.

We take the normal good service that we get from our local businesses for granted until we have an experience that is less than satisfying. Recently my wife decided that she wanted to get back into a regime of exercise. She began to frequent two local gyms after work. Some days it is a Zumba class at one gym, and other days it is a stretching or yoga class at another. One of the gyms only has a very few chairs for anyone to use. Coming from work, she was bringing her gym clothes with her to change in to.

One evening she was ready to begin her class except for putting her gym shoes on. Coats were piled in one chair, and in the other sat a teenager just texting away. She asked the young woman if she could use the chair for a moment to put on her shoes. To which the young woman replied, "I'm sitting in it." So, my wife sat on the floor, put her shoes on and went on to join the class. It is safe to say that she didn't need the first few minutes of the warm-up to get her pulse going and her temperature up.

It is so many times the little things that cause our customers and clients to form opinions about our businesses. And, because they are human, those customers and clients may be more apt to speak about the one bad experience rather than the numerous good ones.....I suppose like I am hinting at here.

It is probably unreasonable to expect every business experience to be really gratifying. And yet that has to be the goal of a small business. In a time when there is almost no product that cannot be purchased over the Internet and be delivered to our door, service and reputation can make the difference.

Knowing my wife, she will use perspective on the texting teenager experience and continue to frequent the gym. But having been the recipient of her good memory too many times on things I have said, I can assure you she will not soon forget it. The gym owner should not be harmed because of the actions of a teenager just waiting for her mother. But the fact is that there are lots of factors that fairly, or unfairly, influence our view of businesses where we shop. It is critical that we have only positive images and perceptions on the ones we can control...as businesses and individuals.

Bill Bailey is the Executive Director of the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce, a former mayor and a former state representative