Sunday, January 4, 2009
Ya Just Never Know
I just went to Giant Eagle, my local grocery store. I knew I was in trouble when I couldn't find a place to park. I walked in, and the lines were way too long. That's ok, I figured, they will be down some by the time I check out. Wrong. The lines were so bad that you couldn't get past anyone to get in another line. So I got in the first line. It was not moving. It was annoying. I realized I was in annoyed mode - you know when everything and everyone in the world annoys you! (The day started with Heather slowly getting ready to go back to college today, way past the time she and David were supposed to leave...and I'm one of those pack-the-car-the-night-before-and-leave-early-in-the-morning kinds of people). I knew David had a long day in front of him - 4 hours there, 4 hours back, and I always worry that he'll fall asleep. I know I would.
But I digress. I finally got a view of the cashier. He was carrying on a conversation with the bagger-girl. He was scanning as he talked, but he definitely could have moved faster. As each new customer came up, he would ask "and how are you today?" Well, I was damned annoyed! And I thought well how should I respond? "Well, I'm running late"......"Well I'm tired of standing in line..." So meek old me gets up there and he asks how I am today and I smiled and said "fine, how are you?" And he looked at me and he said "I remember you - the last time you were in here, you were very nice to me, and I always remember the people who are nice to me." And I stood there feeling very humbled. And glad that I had not used one of the responses I had planned. I mean, really, maybe seconds would have been saved if he had been a little faster, but not much more than that.
And I started to think to myself "ya just never know...."
Many years ago, we had a client that was known for being very very demanding. And not just demanding, but unreasonable. She asked me to send her something, and I did. Well, she lost it, and she called my boss, telling him she had asked me for something and I had not sent it. Well my record-keeping is pretty good - it's like I anticipate someone accusing me of something, so I always have the back-up. And I showed it to my boss. And he called her and told her the date I had sent it to her. She then went looking for it, and what do you know, she found it. She never apologized; she just told him she had stuck it in her office and forgot about it. Many years later, I was asked to serve on a non-profit board. I looked at the letterhead, and yeah, you guessed it - the "demanding unreasonable one" also served on the board. And I almost declined, just because I couldn't stand being in the same room with this woman. But I thought she should not stop me from this, and I joined. At the first meeting I attended, she came up to me and greeted me like a long lost best friend. I do forgive, but I don't forget, and when I think of this woman, the number one memory will be that call she made to my boss.
I did learn a lesson from that, and that was always to approach the person I felt had neglected me before going higher up, because it could have been a misunderstanding (worse yet, it could have been my own fault).
In December, our local paper had an article with gift suggestions. It included a site where you could order THE BEST CANDY. Annesdecadentdelights.com. I'll include a portion of the "about us" part: "Decadent Delights started in 2007 on a dream of a stay-at-home mom looking for a career that would fit around her busy family lifestyle. Decadent Delights has grown from a love of chocolate almond toffee crunch (homemade recipe) to a true marketing company geared for every holiday, special occasion, and corporate event." This blog allowed you to order 2 free samples, if you just paid for shipping. But what caught my eye was a quote that was in both the local paper and in the website, saying that this candy was "like a Heath Bar on steroids." Well I didn't need more of a push than that! So I ordered my free sample, which cost me $4.80 in shipping and handling. A week later, the most amazing 4 pieces of candy that I have ever eaten (you have to be a Heath bar fan) arrived. I was so impressed, I emailed the owner and told her it was the best candy I'd ever eaten. She emailed me back and thanked me and asked me she could quote me on her website (in my email I had referred to myself as the Candy Queen). She would send me a $10 gift certificate for my words. Well, I didn't have to think twice about that one. I really was just trying to recognize the quality of her product, and I prefer to deal with a stay-at-home-mom entrepreneur anyway.
A $10 gift certificate for my favorite candy in the world!
Yeah, ya just never know.