I took a break from my job today and wandered in the mall. I was looking for a small “I’m thinking of you” present for a sick uncle and thought the bookstore might be a good place to start. I found a Borders and went inside. There were three employees in the store, plus a few customers. The employees spoke to NO ONE except each other. As I skimmed the bookshelves, they did their busy work and chatted and whispered to each other.
I admit that I work in a less than friendly metropolitan area where good service is the exception, not the rule, but enough is enough …
I made a decision right there in the store and I want to share it.
I will NO LONGER patronize a store or business where the employees don’t—at the very least—say hello to me. I am done. Done with unhappy, uninterested, unfriendly, and negative people. I have lowered my expectations enough. No more.
Employers be forewarned! Negativity generally starts at the top and filters down. If your managers or leaders aren’t setting a good and positive example, then what can you expect from your associates? Not much! So many times I have been waited on without so much as a word by someone who obviously hates their job or simply wants to be somewhere else … and I just shake my head and am so relieved when the transaction is completed. People, life is too short to be miserable—get another job! No one has a gun to your head making you stay…. Do us ALL a favor…. Negativity spreads like a disease affecting everyone around and there is way too much of it these days.
The second phase of my decision will call attention to those hard working folks who exceed my expectations (again, not hard to do in today’s service environment). If you do a good job and are friendly and accessible, I am going to take the time to mention it … whether it is in the location, on the phone, or in an email. It is time to speak up and support the do-gooders out there! On that note, companies should re-think the “TEAM” mentality. There are always going to be people who will bring the “team” down. Whether it is just because they have no personality or are indeed miserable or hate the job … they WILL be perceived negatively and everyone on the team will suffer because of them. NOT FAIR! If you do a good job and regularly exceed expectations, your performance should stand alone—and you should be rewarded and praised for it. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly … and if you are Lazy Lenny, or Negative Nancy … the lack of rewards and recognition might make you rethink your value and importance to the “team.”
Home Depot has a campaign going now that I think is a step in the right direction. Tell them about an employee who did a great job helping you … and you can both win something. GREAT idea to focus on the positive for a change. I haven’t shopped there in a while, but when a need arises, I will go there over the other big competitors just hoping to foster the positive vibe. I hope more companies will start to think like this. Reward those who deserve it, and just as importantly, don’t penalize the associates as a part of a “team” mentality. As we all know there very few “dream teams” out there, but rather more likely, a couple “super-stars” who lead the others above and beyond. Let’s focus on them for a change and see what happens …