Monday, February 7, 2011
I first was struck by my newest quandary as I went through a local drive thru. Initially I thought the type of business (a fast food joint-I was getting a breakfast sandwich) would be significant evidence and support to my topic, but that is where I decided to let this one simmer, or marinate if you will.
My food was waiting on me and “efficiently” pressed into my hand that was just emerging from my window. I guess this is commendable behavior when service should take no longer than 30 seconds. I was given a “Thanks” through unsmiling lips. I replied, “Tha...”, the sliding glass door slid shut. Next!
Hmmm. Okay I will put customer service aside. In businesses that often have annual turnover in their staffing well over one hundred percent, I guess I didn’t expect a hug upon arrival and departure, but it left me wondering is this the norm. Is this where a lot of human contact and interaction is being reduced to? Well, kinda.
In my observational pause prior to writing this, I noticed how many instances I encountered “Drive Thru Greetings” from many different people and places. Greetings that left me thinking I would prefer silence to a hollow and rehearsed sub-acknowledgement of my existence. “Did I really need to turn down the stereo for that!?”
If I ask you “How are you”, I really care. If I say “Good morning”, I want you to have one. If I say, “have a great day”, indeed I hope that is what happens to you. If I say “travel safe”, I truly want your journey unobstructed. And they say that “Thank you” can be one of the most precious prayers you offer to God thanking him for a gift divine. If it is good enough for God, it is good enough for me, so if you hear me say “thank you”..., well you know where I am going. The intention behind our brief greeting is like saying a brief prayer for that person. Hollow greeting, hollow prayers.
When you encounter people, try speaking your greetings from a place of genuineness, and listen to the responses with your heart. Sometimes it only takes 10 seconds to make someone’s day and to make them feel recognized.
And to all of you now, “Have a great day, travel safe, and most of all, Thank you!”