But I was thinking about it today when I was grocery shopping...do those stores like me too? Are they happy to see me coming? I think so. And here's why. I am a respectful shopper. And maybe this counts as just being a respectful human being in general, but I was really thinking about it in terms of retail. And if YOU'VE ever worked retail, you appreciate the customer that takes an extra moment and helps you out.
Some examples (I know you want some):
- I use the IN door on the way IN, and the OUT door on the way OUT. Now, I am starting you small, but it's simple. I hate it when the traffic is going the opposite way. This is why the doors are labeled, people. This also applies to aisles: it's like traffic. You walk on the right hand side.
- I try to bring in a cart from the outside. Most of you moms already know this trick, since you park near the cart return to put your small children right into a cart. But if you can bring in one from the outside, that's one less that they have to bring inside. Again, I know someone gets paid to do this, and some store have those electronic pusher things, but I inevitably see some small teenage girl trying to push in 45 carts.
- If I pick something up and then later decide I don't want it, I either give it to the cashier or take it back. I do not stick my bananas in with the canned goods, or stick frozen waffles in with the tampons to sit there and defrost. Yes, I KNOW someone will come around and put them back in the right place, but if the waffles have already defrosted, then yuck. That's food wasted. When I worked at Michael's during Christmas, this was always a huge problem, especially since that store carries such small items. We'd find things everywhere and then spend an hour putting it all back. Oh, and in clothing stores, don't even get me started. Why people leave piles and piles of clothes that they tried on in the dressing room, instead of putting them back on the rack marked "returns" is beyond me. It's five extra steps people. I don't have room to put my purse on this shelf in here while I try on a pair of jeans because you were too lazy to put something back. You don't have to take it all the way back to where you picked it up...just to that rack.
- If I break it, spill it, knock it over, or crack it, I let someone know. The employees will want to clean it up now, instead of waiting until seventeen carts have tracked through that grape jelly you spilled. Or that black stain you knocked over. I promise you, they want to get it now.
- If the sign says "have your money ready" then HAVE YOUR MONEY READY. Did you not know you were going through a drive-thru? Come on, I'm in a hurry too! That's why I didn't go inside.
- Yes, cashiers get paid to stand there and take your money, but they always appreciate nice customers. Aren't you glad when you get a nice cashier? The same is true in reverse...they'll be happy they had such a nice customer. And if you are nice, then it's easy to ask if they can bag your bananas separately from your squash.
I know that there are people that get paid to take care of most of this stuff, but in this economy where companies are laying people off, and 10 people are doing the work of 15, I can help out a little. I can. It takes very little time, and it may go unnoticed, but I feel good when I am respectful of other people's time as well. If you've worked in a store, or a restaurant then you know of what I write.
Living our lives thinking of others is an accessible goal. Serving others. I can do these small things.
I can do these small things.