I live a short walk from “The Nugget”. It’s a wonderful market with everything I need – even communication insights!
I thanked the young bagger for doing such a great job putting my fragile and potentially leaky groceries into the sacks. He responded that it was a pleasure to work with such a nice customer. He grinned and added, “That isn’t always the case!”
Of course, he offered to help me out with my purchases. As we walked, I said it must be such a challenge to deal with a rude customer and keep his positive attitude. He agreed, but then added, “I just keep on smiling and being pleasant.”
Then came his wisdom:
“Sometimes a customer comes in, harsh and rude. But then, the next week, that same person will come in and be polite, friendly and very courteous. They are rude because something awful is going on, a family crisis. But when it’s over, they’ll come in and be nice and polite.”
I was stunned, and frankly, a bit envious. How wonderful to be so young and to already have figured that out! Other people’s behavior is so often not about us at all. It’s a reflection of their life events. Don’t take it personally.
And who knew I would receive such wisdom and insight from the bagger at the grocery store? It reminds me that the wisdom we need is there for us, if we just notice.
And on that note, enjoy the wisdom in unexpected places, and have a Happy “Noticing” April!