Feedback from Day 1 of being friendlier

I woke up in the morning, my resolve was strong, I was feeling light-hearted and friendly. I couldn’t wait for the approaching day and the prospect of being friendly to everyone. Come on people! I thought. Come here and let me be friendly at you!

I was up early, baking banana bread. I had been awake a bit in the night, with toothache (the dentist is taking it out on Tuesday so I wasn’t worried or anything) so hoped it wouldn’t make me grumpy.

Into work I went and started getting everything ready for opening. I left the door slightly ajar as it was a bit stuffy but kept all the lights off and covers down on everything. As I was doing something in the kitchen a lady walked all the way in and to the till and ‘Halloo’ed me, as though a silent dark shop with the fridge covers down and all the food clingfilmed was how a shop would operate.

“Is your coffee machine on yet? Can I get a coffee?”

Every coffee place I’ve worked, people check this when you’re near the end or beginning of a shift. Is the coffee machine on? I’m going to tell you all a secret about that. A coffee machine does not go ‘on’ or ‘off’. It’s always on. I mean, you can turn off the mains, if you want. But you don’t. You never turn off the coffee machine overnight. Never. But it provides you with a convenient excuse if you don’t want to serve someone. I worked in a coffee place which closed at 10.30pm. I was exhausted by then and wanted to clean and go home asap. I used to nod, and shrug helplessly, “Yeh, it’s off already, I’m sorry.”

So this lady is here, in my quite obviously not-open-yet shop, while I’m running around like a mad woman, baking croissants, asking if the coffee machine is on.

Be friendly, be friendly.

“It is on, but I’m not open until 8, sorry,” I smiled in the friendliest way I could at that moment. Satisfied, she said she’d be back at 8 and not to worry. Phew, grumpy Laura disaster averted.

But wait! The phone was ringing! I picked it up. The voice on the end said, “O great! I was just checking if you’re open and you are.”

“I’m actually not open until 8, unfortunately.”

“Ok, well if I come down now, will I just be able to buy some bread from you?”

“Well, I’m sure it will be fine. I’m quite busy so it would be better to wait til 8, when I’ve opened up…”

“Right, well I’ll be down soon. I’ll just hang around till you’ve got a minute to serve me.”

Be friendly, be friendly.

I made myself smile and said into the phone, “Ok, great, I’ll see you soon then.”

It’s like they organised themselves to test my patience today because they knew I’d be in friendly mode.

Down pottered phone customer five minutes later, and way before 8am, and I smiled as much as I could.

Those were my first two interactions on my first day of being friendly. The rest of the day was fine. Once I’d got into the swing of things, it was fine. I’m not usually unfriendly, so it wasn’t that difficult. It’s when I’m not in work that I’d like to be friendly and approachable.

Wish me luck for Day 2. I’m off swimming in a few minutes and that might test my patience a bit.

Be friendly, be friendly.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. That used to annoy me when customers wouldn’t listen, or just enter when obviously closed, with the customer on the phone I would have just said I’ll see you at 8am when w open.

    Reply

    • I would normally but I was trying to be friendlier. He wasn’t really giving me the opportunity to say no. I would’ve had to be rude cause he wasn’t getting it. So, in my efforts to be friendly I said yes. It annoyed me though.

      Reply

  2. Think you passed the test for Day 1. And don’t forget you can be extra friendly when you go back to Highgate to pay off your debts as I’m sure, despite your assurances that you would, they probably wouldn’t be expecting you to go back and actually pay up. Remember it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Keep it up. Hope Day 2 goes ok.

    Reply

  3. having worked in customer service for a long time, I know how difficult it can be to be friendly! it’s easy to be friendly to nice customers but sometimes I had to push myself to be nice to the rude ones, even if in my head I was thinking, “YOU IDIOT! GOSH! GO AWAY!” sometimes it pays off though 🙂

    Reply

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