Friday, September 26, 2008

Nice is sexy-cool

I think we've become accustomed to being treated indifferently or rudely by people in service industries.

I have, at least. So much so that when someone is genuinely nice or chirpy, or gives me a real smile, I really take notice.

Last week I went to the local supermarket with my mother. (This place is open till 10pm, seven days a week, which I LOVE.) Mum had the flu and wanted to get some zinc tablets. We pored over a few brands and bought the one that seemed like the best value for money.

The teenager at the cash register was reserved but polite, with short, curly brown hair. After he had packed our things, I looked over the receipt and noticed that we had paid 40 cents more than the shelf price for the tablets.

I went back to the original cashier and pointed this out to him. I know people out there are thinking, "Sheesh, lady, it's only 40 cents," but we weren't in a hurry, we're pretty frugal, and we don't like being hoodwinked into paying more than we need to (even if it is by accident). Also, as someone who's a little shy, I like doing small, potentially confrontational things like this to challenge myself.

He quietly took the bottle and went to check the price on the shelf. I expected him to come back grumpy and a little surly, but he returned as calmly and methodically as he had left.

When he came back he entered something into the cash register and took out more than 40 cents. Then he put $8.15 into my hand and, like someone handing out an award, handed me back the bottle of zinc tablets with a flourish.

"Because it scanned in wrong, you get a full refund and the item as well," he said, meeting my eyes with a big smile.

"Awesome!" I said, before I could help myself.

He gave me a thumbs-up and a little smile-click with a wink, and I thought, "No, YOU'RE awesome."

I don't rob cradles, but if I had a cute teenage daughter, I would have gussied her up and sent her to the school ball with him. Because manners and nice boys are sexy-cool.

"Hey Mum," I said excitedly as I was driving us home, "we got a free bottle of zinc and a thumbs-up!"

We both grinned at each other.

"What a nice boy!" she said.


Anonymous said...

that's so awesome- & adorable! :)

i read somewhere that when you have exceptional customer service you should call it in to the manager. maybe he'll get a better review & a raise! :D

Anonymous said...

If you had too much spare time you could return to that supermarket and systematically purchase one of each item, check the docket for errors then return all the items immediately for a refund. Then fill your trolley with items which are incorrect and take them through the checkout. Then immediately draw the attention of the smiling, thumbs up boy to the error. Based on his stated policy he would have to refund the entire product value and the difference in price. That would wipe the smile off his face! Jaymez