It's a tough world to live in, right now. I won't go into the politics of it; you already know what you know, as they say. Yet, in the past few months, I have noticed something. No matter where I go, people are just so... nice! Happy, even! Even the young ones working are just so ... pleasant!
There was a time when good customer service was just about non-existent. Everyone was in a hurry. Okay we still are. Face it; we live in a world now that is losing its patience for everything. Everything must be done now. Instant everything. Think about it. We nuke our food. We stream online movies. If we need help with how to patch holes in the wall, we don't rely on our uncles or friends to come take a look next weekend, we head over to YouTube and watch a tutorial. And if you went to Home Depot to ask for the right patching materials for said hole, dealing with a truly nice person - much less finding one - was unheard of.
I confess; our family gets the occasional fast-food meal. Pulling into the drive-through and finally nearing the talk-box, we are greeted with the sweetest voice. Not the usual incoherent, monotone 'I hate this job and would much rather have needles shoved into my eyes' greeting. This person is peppy! Upon driving up to pay for and get our meal, the worker is smiling. We are asked how we are as if this person truly wanted to know. A small joke or anecdote is shared and with -- again-- a sincere 'Have a great day!', we drive away actually happier than when we first drove through!
And it's not the annoying clerk that wants to hover over you just to get the sale. After the usual, "Can I help you find anything?" (which, I have to say, annoys the heck out of me), somehow I end up having a small yet enjoyable chat with them. That person went out of their way to be pleasant. It was genuine kindness. That shines through much brighter than a person faking a smile just to make the sale. I can spot them a mile away and I avoid them. Believe me, I've tried to be genuine with them, only to be treated badly. I tried, and will keep trying. Kill 'em with kindness? You betcha!
The clerk at the newly opened Hobby Lobby. I've encountered her three times. She's like one of my friends, now! Seriously! She is so energetic, helpful and just so nice. She's pleasant to be around. I'll seek her out when I go back. And the store wins, too. They get me as a customer because of her. And Hobby Lobby definitely wants me as their customer, believe me! That, my friends, is good customer service.
I'm seeing this change everywhere I go. What's going on? Why are people suddenly so nice? Have they been told by management that if they don't shape up, they'll lose their job? Fear of losing your job today is enough to make you physically ill. We are just glad to have that precious job, no matter what it is, and what it pays. Maybe that's it. 'I may not truly want to be here, my job sucks almost as much as the pay, but I'm here. I am employed. Might as well make the best of it.' Eureka!
I think people are realizing that while it is a scary world to live in right now, by just treating each other better, and smiling a little more, as scary as our world is, we can make it a happier place. We have that choice.
I am a positive person. My glass is always half full, no matter what is going on in my life. I greet strangers with a smile. I notice name tags on clerks. I always greet them by their name. You'd be surprised what effect that has on a person. It makes them stop for a split second. Nine times out of ten, a sudden grin of realization washes over them. "Oh. She took the time to read my name tag. Cool.' Their demeanor shifts, slightly. And even if that person is having a lousy day, at least they know that someone cares. Sometimes it fails to work, but I always try to be kind. You never know what kind of day that person is having. Still, it's really nice to be beaten to the punch. And it's happening a lot, now.
I know... Little Miss Mary Sunshine. It takes more muscles to frown that it takes to smile. My cup is half full. Maybe if my cup runneth over?
Until next time,
|Have a nice day.|