On Friday, I was at Lakewinds. I stumbled exhausted around the store and gathered a few items so that I could cook something for dinner.
I’ve been having a lot of headaches lately. Some migraines, some sinus pressure headaches. I went through a stretch many years ago, where I had a headache which lasted well over a year. This is not THAT bad, at all, but still, it hasn’t been fun.
Anyhow, on Friday, I’d been having a particularly crappy day. I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep since the puppies came, and the weather has been up and down, which would be fine, if it didn’t bother my sinuses so much. That day in particular, I’d been battling a migraine, and I wasn’t really in the mood to cook, but I certainly wasn’t in the mood to go out, particularly on a Friday night. So, while I wanted to crawl into bed and be left alone, what I needed to do was shop for things I could use to prepare a nutritious and reasonably tasty dinner.
I got into line with my selections, and the person who was doing the bagging asked how I was.
Now, I actually HATE that question. It is pretty much my least favorite question. I know, I know, how terribly unfriendly of me. I grasp that it is standard in this society. Two people interact, and one person makes a “HOWAREYOU?” noise with their mouth, and the other person is supposed to make a “FINE” noise with their mouth. It’s like two dogs meeting and sniffing butts. It’s just saying, “Yes, I am a human and not an alien (or Replicant) and I know how to do the human things.” The problem is, I am an alien. I hear the “HOWAREYOU?” noise, and I think about what the words actually mean. I can’t not think about it. I hear it, and I find myself considering, Self? How are you? Whatever it is that I am trying to get done is interrupted for a bit of self reflection and overview of my day to determine the answer to the question, which is being asked 99% of the time by a random person who doesn’t care how I am in the slightest. Then, I must throw away what I’ve thought of, and force myself to make the “FINE” noise, even though it is a lie. I hate being pushed into lying. So, yeah, I am not a fan of this societal nicety in any way, shape, nor form.
He asked, and while I resent the question, and society in general for making it a common question, I don’t resent the asker, they are just doing as they’ve been taught. However, I didn’t feel good enough to bother with lying and I replied, “Horrible,” because I felt horrible.
The cashier rung me up. He bagged my stuff. I paid. He gave me my bag.
Then, the cashier said, “Are you in a hurry?”
Now, this was not a phrase I was used to as part of the end of a transaction, so even though I heard the words, I did not understand.
“Excuse me?” I inquired.
“Are you in a hurry?” and when I stills stared at her beautiful face blankly, she tried again, “Do you have a minute?”
“Okay, hold on just a minute,” and she ran off.
I waited, putting pressure on my head trying to keep the comparably low grade, but still very noticeable, migraine pain from making something pop.
Soon she ran back with a bouquet of flowers and handed them to me, “You said you were having a horrible day, so I wanted you to have these. I got them for my sister. I was supposed to see her tonight, but I just found out my plans changed, so I’d like you to have them instead.”
That is how I came home from my trip to the grocery store with groceries, flowers, and a story to tell my family.
Now, this was an act by an individual. It isn’t a Lakewinds company policy. Yet, it is still customer service. I was a customer and an employee was interacting with me. A company chooses who to employ. Those choices reflect upon the company.
It was a surprising and spontaneous gesture, and it really put a different spin on my totally not looked forward to outing to pick up some dinner groceries.
It is in very stark contrast to a pleasant outing gone wrong due to the personal interaction of the sort of person that Sonic Drive-In chooses to employ. More on that thought another day.