November 15, 2013
At first I was impressed with the manager of a local grocery store. When he noticed a lot of customers waiting in line, he raced to the front of the store and opened a check-out lane.
My impression of him changed dramatically as I took my place in his line. He didn’t smile at a single customer. He couldn’t, because the toothpick he was chewing on would have dropped out of his mouth. Soon, I became fascinated with that toothpick. While he was chomping away, that little piece of lumber was jumping around his mouth like a nervous grasshopper. Furthermore, in his attempt to be efficient, he rushed his customers through his lane and appeared annoyed when they didn’t pay for their groceries with the same sense of urgency.
When it was my turn, I smiled sweetly and said, “The toothpick doesn’t convey a very professional image for a manager.”
He glared at me and said, “Well, ma’am, I’m sorry if it offends you.”
I replied, “It doesn’t offend me in the least but it certainly lowers your professional credibility.”
Then I smiled once more and started to walk away.
He looked at me, whispered “Thanks” and quietly removed the toothpick from his mouth. Then he looked directly at his next customer and gave her a big smile.