Be Kind to Shop Girls

I have been working in a children’s boutique for 50 days today. Outside the shop’s windows, the sun is hiding behind a few grey clouds, but the ambient light that fights through is bright nonetheless. A limousine is coasting to a stop at the intersection a hundred yards away. People have been walking by all day, strolling with their children, their lovers, their ice creams from the shop two doors down. No hurries, no visible worries.

Every patron we’ve had in the store today has been in bright spirits. And let me tell you something, there’s nothing a shop girl appreciates more than nice customers. When you walk into the shop, I greet you with a smile, I ask how I can help you, what you’re looking for, how you’re enjoying your day. I’m genuinely happy to see another face walk through the door. And when you return the smile, when you look me in the face and say hello back, when you carry on conversation with me, that makes my day. But when you don’t… When you don’t return the smile, when you give a gruff reply, when you respond in a way that shows you wish I weren’t here, when you treat me like a piece of annoying furniture whose sole purpose is to stand here and take your money, I’ll keep my smile on. I’ll keep doing my job. The negativity won’t be reflected back at you. But when you leave, the proverbial raincloud you brought in with you stays. It makes my job a suddenly less happy,  less fulfilling. Just less.

And there’s not much that can take the sun’s warmth out of the day than an unkind, unhappy customer at the very end of the day. When I’m going above and beyond the call of my job to help and be kind to you, and your frowning face is the last thing I see in my workday… 

So folks, think about the boys and girls behind the counters at the shops you walk into. They’re pretty great people, and you’re great people, too.  The sun is shining outside and the day is warm. We want to make the best of it while we’re stuck inside, so we smile our best spring-smiles and hope you’ll bring some spring warmth in with you. With your personality. With your own smile.

Bon printemps, tout le monde!




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