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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Red Bull Crap Energy Think

I often bellyache about the cashiers at my neighborhood Foodtown supermarket because seriously, they are about as friendly as a hyena on the rag. God forbid they should smile or greet their customers, oh right, we're the untimely interruption to the important conversation they were having with a co-worker about Lenny, the delivery guy.

Perhaps they never got the memo. Maybe their managers never noticed that all other businesses from CVS and Rite Aid to the Greenpoint Fruit & Veggie shop, have been stepping up their customer service. Yeah Foodtown folks, it's a little thing called the recession. It makes people a little pickier where they spend their money. Not to sound all Tea Party or anything, but I'd rather shop at a place where they wear big Capitalist-brown-nosing smiles over Communist-deal-with-it sour pusses.

It's funny really because it's so cliche, but it's true: smiles are contagious. And what's more - they're free. You can give smiles away all you want and still have an endless supply. Oh sure, I'm being cynical and nit-picky with my local Foodtown, but that doesn't mean I didn't sincerely wish that bitch of a cashier to have a nice day. I even gave her a free smile.

Did she return the gesture?

No. But she did say "thank you," which was a feat because the produce stock boy was waiting to continue their conversation about effective energy drinks.

That's when I realized this little Gordian Knot: put energy in a little(or big) can and sell it upwards of three-dollars and people are tripping over each other to buy it. Project energy in little gestures like smiles and good wishes and people treat you like a Canadian Elvis fan. Go figure.


  1. I always love your post and as a former #1 rated customer service manager for Kroger I agree ... My policy was smile or walk the blue mile and don't some back... people have a choice where to drop coin if we keep them happy and we are nice they may choose here!

  2. So true. A smile is a really powerful thing. There are times I'd like to scratch one salesperson's eyes out but of course this is all in my mind which I soon replace with maybe's, maybe she has a really crappy good-for-nothing husband or maybe someone she loves is really sick. But still, it doesn't hurt to smile even a bit.

  3. "Smiles go a long way..." - a cliche, I know, but how much truth is in it ???
    And think of all those developing countries where people have little more than their health and their family...and smiling is what they do all day long.

  4. Amen, everybody. Smiles also work when you're too tired to respond or just didn't understand what the heck the other person said.

  5. I had to read this twice because the first time all I heard was "hyena on the rag." You're awesomesauce.

  6. I also got stuck on what a hyena on the rag would be like. Canadian Elvis fans was almost as awesome. That indeed doesn't quite fit, does it? "Ayuh, thankyouverymuch."

  7. Any female during that time of the month deserves a second look, especially with a laugh like that.

    As for the Canadian Elvis fan - they would be strange, but not stranger than my mom.