We have a winner!

Some years ago, I was a wedding coordinator at my church, along with several other women. About once a year, we got together with our priest and discussed how to best assist the couples we worked with. Invariably, stories about this bride or that mother started to come out and we all had a good laugh about the challenges we encountered. Our priest always suggested that we could write a book about it all, and it would be a best-seller. Actually, now there are TV shows about the same thing! It is really quite troublesome that people watch this for entertainment, but many can relate to the situations since it is now a common occurrence.

Fast forward 8 or 10 years, and now I’m the owner of a wonderful stationery store. Talking amongst ourselves about “difficult” customers helps to alleviate some of our stress. Humor works wonders, and is often necessary in our business. But, why? When did it become acceptable to be rude to sales associates, or even people in general? At our store, we greet all customers that come in and offer them assistance. We don’t hound anyone, we don’t follow or pressure anyone. Most of the items we carry require some sort of explanation or, at the very least, showing where they can be found. That's what we're here for.

Our typical customer either accepts assistance or indicates they are just browsing. Recently, when one customer was asked if he was ‘doing ok’, his loud and angry response was ‘what, are you a doctor?!?’ Okaaayyy…. We weren’t really asking if he needed a therapist.

Another lady told a sales associate to tell me to ‘get with it’ because I didn’t have a particular card she was looking for. Seriously?

But just yesterday we had a winner! Ding, ding, ding! Her response to a pleasant greeting and offer of assistance was to loudly exclaim that she just wanted to be left alone! Okaaayyy… we can do that, and we did. Now several customers were bug-eyed, myself included, but everyone politely ignored her rudeness. Later, while I was assisting another customer, she walked directly to me and announced that she needed to look at my stationery books. When my manager (my daughter) pulled a few books for her, she again commented that she wanted to be left alone. She didn’t want help and she didn’t want to be spoken to. Okaaayyy…

During the course of the next hour or more, she was the nastiest, most mean-spirited person I’d encountered...in perhaps my entire life. She spewed her venom on me, my daughter, and by default, all the other customers in the store who couldn't help but overhear. I did my best to contain it and shelter others from her. By the time she left, she was a bit less caustic, but I licked my wounds all night and well into today. She showed me a new level of low, and that to me is very sad. Again I ask, when did it become acceptable to treat others this way?

Come on, people, remember the golden rule? Remember please and thank you? Thankfully, the vast majority of our customers are pleasant and polite. Many of them are downright wonderful. But we can ALL use a reminder that a little kindness goes a really, really long way and we can ALL use a bit more of it in our lives! Thanks!


Save the Date

Wedding season us upon us and I just have to share this video I came across this morning. I've done many Save-the-Dates in my career, but I don't believe I've ever seen one as creative as this.

I hope you enjoy!