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Just Be Nice

I try to keep this blog positive. It’s not that I have a problem with negative. In fact, sometimes when I read the reviews in Entertainment Weekly, I skip anything higher than a C+ (sometimes I don’t read any; when did movie reviewers get so easy to please?). But my purpose here is to be a booster for the area. I want to highlight something my readers might like, not warn them away from things they might not.

That makes it difficult when I go to a local business and do not have a good experience. I’m not going to warn anybody against any places where very possibly the staff was merely having a bad day. But I am also not going to give a positive review where one is not deserved.

Under these circumstances and given some recent experiences, I can only offer, without naming names or using identifying characteristics, is a rant about Dealing with the Public. I will preface this by saying I’ve been there! I know. In fact, I could do another whole blog post on what stinkers customers can be and you should be nice to service personnel (ooh, that can be my topic for tomorrow).

The first thing I have to observe is that it is not too hard to smile. You don’t have to gush, give compliments, chat me up, etc. You don’t even need to make recommendations or give positive feedback on my selections. But maintain a pleasant demeanor. Maybe you hate your job. Maybe you just helped the absolute worst customer in the world. Or your boss yelled at you for something that was not your fault. Or you just got horrendous personal news. Or you have a raging sinus headache or other physical pain. We’ve all been there (and if you haven’t been there, please go away; you have led too charmed a life to consort with us mere mortals). But here’s what I found: if I somehow, some way managed to be nice to the next customer, very often that customer would be nice back to me. And that would make me feel better.

To all retail and restaurant people out there who are doing your job to the best of your abilities and striving to stay pleasant: THANK YOU! To those of you who are being unpleasant, or neglecting to ask my husband does he want more coffee (he almost always does) (too specific?), or committing other infractions against good customer service, I doubt you know who you are. But I hope you start having better days soon. Then maybe I can give you and your employers a positive blog post.

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