Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Nine - Kill them with Kindness

     I spend a lot of time shopping in a local arts & crafts store (a big chain whose name I won't mention).  It's one of my favorite stores, but unfortunately, the manager is a very grumpy lady who has zero customer service skills.  Every time I go in there, I get very frustrated at how rude and abrupt she is--to the customers and to her employees.  She is very confrontational and condescending and I often wonder how she achieved a position as high as store manager.  I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but I have owned several retail businesses myself and the most important part of my business was customer satisfaction.  I really have to bite my tongue when I go in there and if there were another store like it in the area, I would not return to this one.
     Well, with my new found attitude and commitment to being kind, I went into the store today determined to be genuinely nice and to 'kill her with kindness.'  After all, you never can be sure why a person acts the way they do.  Maybe this woman has no joy in her life or has had some unbearable sadness. Maybe she is so used to being grumpy that she has forgotten how to smile.  I was on a mission to find out.  She was at the cash register snapping out orders to her staff and even with a long line, she had only one clerk working the sales desk.  As I walked up, I looked directly at her and asked how she was today.  She turned away and spoke to her employee and completely ignored me.  Not to be defeated, I tried again to make conversation but this time, she told her clerk to take over and walked away and her salesperson gave me an apologetic look. And that was the end of it.  I wasn't successful with my ARK today (or was I?) but I won't give up.  Instead of being angry with this lady now, I actually feel sorry for her.  Maybe she needs some love and kindness in her life to break down the wall she has put up.  I'll keep trying whenever I go back and I'll keep you posted!  But even if it didn't seem like I made an impact on her--I sure felt better about myself today!

     "We must convert our love for Christ into deeds. We must express Christian love in concrete, living ways."
     ~ Mother Teresa

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