Today’s reminder comes to you 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. Our stroll through town occurred a few years back, but I think the message bears repeating.
I remember wandering into a Christmas Shop down near the docks and began browsing. We both overheard a woman with an obvious accent (Russian, I think) 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? My guess as for the origin of their accent might be wrong, but I knew they were definitely international visitors.
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 “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 out-of-country 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 before asking to plead my case to the store manager hoping to reverse the store policy just this one time.
Just an aside: While this is now used frequently, the word “at” has no place at an end of a sentence. You heard it here. If you want to raise a few eyebrows, along with a few red flags, throw in a few “at’s” at the end of your sentences.
Final Result: Store clerk – 1 Marchev — 0. Visitors: Poor Experience
Upon leaving in defeat, I mentioned to the counter help that the store policy probably had some small print somewhere between the covers suggesting that the help should not toss cream cheese missiles in the direction of potentially paying customers. My wife 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 attached to my visit to Annapolis. 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 definitely not advisable to tersely answer a request 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.”
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.