Since my surgery, I have not had much of an appetite. I eat cereal in the morning, have a piece of peanut-butter toast about noon and after that, not much sounds good. I had a doctor who suggested “Why not try a milkshake? That will put some calcium in you and some weight back on you.” In other news, one of my best friends said, “People like me hate people like you.” I know she means it with love.
So, once a week, I try to go to Baskin-Robbins and get a milkshake---I’ve experimented with flavors and always get complimented from the guy at the register (what a great combination!, he’ll say) and I can drink a little bit of it and save the rest for later.
Dave came with me today. I think he wanted to see this Baskin-Robbins guy who keeps giving me extra coupons and complimenting my choice of flavors. J
We walked in with a coupon for a “Buy one, get one free sundae”. No regular guy (it was the weekend, after all. Even the ice cream scooper guy has to have a day off, right?). Instead, there were two girls behind the beauty that is the ice cream cooler. As we entered, Dave flashed them both a big smile and asked, “What has been your favorite part of your day, so far?” Both of them gave answers. One said with an even bigger smile, “That’s so nice of you to ask. I got to open this morning so I get to go home earlier.” Dave continued engaging them in conversation, asking them, “What is your favorite thing to make?” One girl said, “Anything but a banana split.” Dave and I both said (at the same time, by the way), “We want two banana splits” then we said in unison again, “Just kidding”. By this point, we were all four smiling and jovial.
On the way home, Dave and I talked about how everyone talks about wanting good customer service, from our airlines, to hotels, to restaurants, to phone companies, and on and on and on. But we began wondering if we, as consumers, don’t actually have a responsibility to help make the customer service experience better by being a friendly consumer. We firmly believe there is not just a correlation but a causal factor that impacts the customer service experience if we simply go in with an attitude of gratitude, joy and fun.
As an educational consultant who works with students, parents, teachers, and administrators, I often find that if we can establish a caring relationship with participants/students right up front in our workshops, the likelihood of people griping about having to be in an all-day workshop lessens significantly. In fact, I just worked with a group of 22 folks in New Jersey. When, after the first 30 minutes, I took a moment to call each one by name, they remarked, “Wow, how did you do that?” I answered, “I’m not sure how I do it, but I will tell you why I do it. When people know that they matter to you, even something as simple as learning their names, what we have to talk about seems to matter a little bit more. Don’t you find that to be true when working with students in your school?” People began nodding in assent. What’s the point? We all want to feel wanted, needed, and important.
Favorite scene from “The Help”?
How can we make this happen in schools? I believe we do it simply by remembering that everyone is struggling with something in their lives. On the other hand, everyone has the capacity to make someone’s day by being kind to them. How hard is it? Considering it makes the giver feel better, also, I would suggest not too hard.
As we left Baskin Robbins, both girls said something like, “Thank you for making our day more fun” and “You two were so nice and friendly. Not everyone acts like this.”
Just for today, maybe we can focus on not just waiting for someone to be nice to us before we extend a kind, warm, or funny greeting. In other words, make someone’s day!!