Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just say, "How are you today?"

 I had an interesting experience this morning while shopping at Sprouts, our local produce and healthy-food store. The checker, a young man, greeted me and asked, "How are you today?" I told him I was fine and then asked how he was doing. He stopped what he was doing for just a few quick seconds, smiled broadly, and replied that he was doing great. He thanked me for asking and said that he'd gotten so used to people not saying anything that my question was a welcome surprise. We talked a little more while he rang up my few purchases, and he thanked me for our conversation.

I thought about my own son who worked as a grocery-cart pusher, a checker, and a produce clerk for quite a few years, and wondered how many people are actually aware of how hard supermarket employees work. I wondered how many people realize how difficult it can be to stand in one spot for an entire shift and handle all kinds of food and other supplies and be pleasant all the time. I wondered how many people think to return the polite questions with real care and concern for the checkers at those grocery check stands. 

I wonder. Do you?


TLou said...

Managing in the hospitatlity industry for many years taught me that I had the power to make someone's day miserable or absolutely wonderful. I consciously choose to be as pleasant and grateful as possible to everyone who provides service to me. I know that I have a lot of making up to do for others who behave differently. Thanks for reminding us that those are humans on the other side of the counter and we may miss the opportunity for some wonderful connections if we are not paying attention.

Karen said...

If you have not ever worked in a service job, you would be very surprised at just how rude people can be to you, all day long, every day. When someone takes the time to smile, say something nice, or just BE nice, it is such a nice gesture that sometimes it brings me to tears. Thanks for posting this, Chris.