Today’s whack in the head comes via Annapolis, Maryland — the home of the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis is one pretty town, especially on a bright, clear Saturday morning. Weather-wise, my wife and I hit a homerun as we sauntered in and out of the cute little shops.
We eventually wandered into a Christmas Shop down near the docks and began browsing. We both overheard a woman with an accent (Russian) ask the young lady behind the counter if they could take a picture of this lovely shop as they had never seen anything quite so beautiful?
Between bites from a bagel with cream cheese, the young gal uttered with absolutely no eye contact whatsoever, “No. Store policy.” Of course, being the guy who spends most of his waking hours teaching people how to not treat their customers like dogs, I found my immediate attention drifting toward something that I (and my wife) knew was none of my business. Nonetheless, I figured that here was an ideal opportunity to spread some good, old fashion American hospitality to a couple of guests. (We all should be on active alert for opportunities like this one.)
Understanding that this had little to do with me, I silently approached the counter and asked the same question, from my intermediary position. Same response, but I swear I saw some cream cheese flying in my direction. I dodged the projectile and asked to plead my case to the store manager hoping to reverse the store policy just this one time. “He is around here somewhere, but I don’t know where he is at!” Although it crossed my mind at the time, I did not want to waste my time reminding this little girl that it is not proper English to end a sentence with a preposition. If you want to show the world that you are uneducated, throw in a few “ats” at the end of a sentence. And while you are at it, use “aks” in place of the word “ask.” This should position you nicely.
Final Result: Store clerk – 1, Marchev — 0.
Upon leaving in defeat, I mentioned to the counter help that the store policy probably had some small print somewhere between the covers that suggesting that the help should not toss cream cheese missiles in the direction of potentially paying customers. My wife then very politely suggested that it would be in her best interest if she actively started looking for a job she actually enjoyed.
Because I value your readership and applaud your intelligence, I am not going to explain the glaring lessons in this sequence of events. There is more than one. I will simply mention that it is not always in your best interest to blindly follow your procedure policy manual. And it is not advisable to say “no” while eating cream cheese. If, by chance, the shoe does fit, you might also want to consider looking for a job that isn’t such a “job.” I can feel the bristles now!
Mike Marchev has lots more to share with you. Email him today to receive a Special Report titled, “THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GAVE TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS” at firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to write the word “advice” in the subject box, and while you’re at it, include what you enjoy about reading Mike’s column.