There’s training and there’s habit. I’ve been noticing lately that some people who earn their money in direct contact with the public – shopkeepers, checkout desk persons – are sometimes so uninterested in the customer that they don’t even look at the customer when they take their money. As if the money comes from thin air and just happens to have been handed over by the customer, who in all likelihood has had to work hard for that money.

It takes so little to look at someone and say, Thank you, with sincerity.

I do notice at the local supermarket that the younger people, who have obviously been trained, do this, with varying degrees of apparent conviction or sincerity. For some of the older people who occasionally do duty at the checkout there are those whose demeanour sometimes prompts me to ask “haemorroids giving you a bad time today, are they?” (I don’t!) It’s as if you the customer should be thanking them profusely for deigning to take your money!

I’ve never heard of a customer who complained that they weren’t appreciated enough, and thinking about what I’ve just written, I realize that I need to look more closely at how I communicate with and show my appreciation for the wonderful people who pay me for my services as a coach or consultant.

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