My 12 year old laptop has slowly been giving up and I’ve needed to make a new purchase. Last week I went to a store that carried the one I wanted. Sadly, the young woman who was ‘helping me’ was so sharp, flippant, defensive and actually quite rude during our interaction, I was put off the whole purchase and left the store.
Fast forward to today and I decided to go back and make the purchase. And yup, the same person was manning the computer section and I had no choice but to go through her to make the purchase. Our interaction started with a familiar, negative mood and tone and I decided this just wasn’t good enough. So, I stopped her. And I shared that her attitude last time was a catalyst for me to leave the store without a purchase. After a bit more probing, instead of slapping me or walking away – which felt like distinct possibilities, I saw her lip quiver slightly. She miraculously dropped her guard and told me she’d been going through a rough patch in life. We talked briefly about dropping things at the door when you enter work and perhaps even looking forward to the work environment as it gives you a break from nonstop ruminations about what might not be going well in life.
I’m happy to say I’m the owner of a new lap top, but more importantly, the young woman thanked me profusely for “calling her up on her behavior” – her term – and she even proactively knocked $100 off the price of the computer. It was amazing to see the transformation in her when she softened up and even shared some laughter. There’s no faking JOY when it’s delivered in the form of a giggle.