Dave and I went to lunch at a new restaurant in Tucson (okay, new to us; it's actually old) the other day. The food was great, exceptional really, and we told the waitress. She gave a big smile and said, quite sincerely, "Thanks. It means a lot to hear that." Dave asked her if she was Hawaiian (which is always a great conversation starter), and she smiled and said, "Why yes I am". We proceeded to tell her we were going to Hawaii this week, and the conversation ensued. "What island?" "Have you ever done an ATV tour?" "You have to try this restaurant", and so many other tidbits were shared every time she came to our table (to check on how we still liked the food).
We told her we would be sure to eat a shave ice for her. We actually took a card from the restaurant and will take a picture with the business card and a sign that says "Greetings to Fran from Hawaii" and then take it to her when we come back. We tipped her well and thanked her profusely for being such a great waitress.
Was this more work on our part? Nope. Was it hard to do? Nope. Did it make us think of someone other than ourselves? Yep!
How about, just for today, just one time, tell someone how much you appreciate their hard work and/or strike up a conversation with wait staff or a customer service rep. Too many times, service folks only get the negative side of customer service. Why not make their day???
Communicating for Success,
Do you know your boundaries? Are you aware of the boundaries of others?
I love being around people, don't get me wrong, and I have fairly "liberal" boundaries----I'm huggy, affectionate and love to talk intimately with others. I do NOT, however, prefer to have you in the bathroom with me. Twice in the past month, this boundary has been tested. Once, a workshop participant said she had several questions to ask me. Having just finished teaching a workshop, I begged, "I need to run to the restroom really quickly and then I am all yours." "No problem", she sweetly agreed, "I'll just walk with you." Okay, I thought, we will talk until the restroom door closes. Au contraire, mademoiselle. The conversation continued well past the point at which I was INSIDE the stall using the facilities. What should I have done? In retrospect, I should have said, at the restroom door, "Alrighty, well, how about we meet back at the booth in 10 minutes and we can talk then?" Lesson learned.
Example #2: My husband, Dave, and I moved cross-country in the last few days, originating in Florida on Thursday and "landing" in Tucson, AZ this morning. At a McDonald's in New Mexico, we had stopped for a diet coke (please recall my previous miscommunication about diet coke in North Dakota) and a restroom break. As I was in the stall, I hear a lovely voice speaking Spanish. I listen but I am not brushed up on my Spanish as of yet and was unable to translate. No one answered her. A few seconds later, she "repeated" her statement, as best I could tell but this time closer to my stall. And then she KNOCKED on my stall. Did I mention I was IN THE STALL??? "Hello? Yoo-hoo, I"m in here!" I called out politely, as if she might not know. Again the repeated statement, at which time I was finished doing what I came to do and was exiting the stall. Wide-eyed I looked at her as I exited. She had toilet paper in her hand and said, "You need paper?" Wowee, not now I don't. I politely excused myself and exited, wondering to myself, "Do I have a sign on my forehead (or perhaps my shoes) that says, 'Talk to me while I am doing my business'?"
In the end, I learned a good lesson today----I need to brush up on my Spanish.