Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Talkin' 'Bout a [Real Nice] Revolution

So this post isn’t about decorating.
Or crafting.
It’s photo-less.

But if you can stand the wall o'text that follows, you might be inspired enough to do something small that will feel real good.  And maybe make a big difference to someone else.
Today’s post is a Call to Action.

We live in a time where people are awful quick to point out when they’re unhappy. You’ve seen it on Facebook status updates, on Twitter. On someone’s blog or a forwarded email. It’s about the service they didn’t receive. What they’re not getting. And why someone else is to blame.

And I’m tired of being a part of the problem.

I know I’ve been frustrated enough with a customer service representative over the phone a time or two… enough to ask to speak to their supervisor.

I’ve filled out a comment card with a less than glowing review of an experience I’ve had as a patron.

But this week I asked myself:
“When have you ever been that motivated to take those same steps when the experience was positive?”

The truth is, I haven’t.

And that needs to change.

Last Sunday I went to the grocery store for my weekly shopping trip.  I remembered the cheery woman who I always see on the weekends.
And how I gravitate toward her line all the time because she’s so darn nice.

So the next day, I took 2 minutes out of my workday over lunch.

I went to my grocery store chain’s website, and I sent an 8-sentence email about the woman who rang up my groceries.

In the email I said I appreciated that she didn’t just “go through the motions” and she talks to me while she’s scanning my items, but it never feels like she’s just trying to fill time.

She was genuine and friendly, and I appreciated it.

I said she was a nice representation of the customer service this particular company markets as a premiere piece of its brand.
I hit “send” and went about my day.

It felt good.

I thought maybe the email would get to the store manager, and she would get an “Atta Girl” at the start of her next shift. Everyone likes praise from the boss, right?


Mission Accomplished.

I went to the store this past Sunday to do my shopping.
I saw she was working, and as is my habit, got in her line.

We chatted.  I swiped my card and as I entered in my PIN, I saw her make a face at the screen. I thought there was something wrong.

With a funny look on her face, she asked me “I’m sorry… but I see your name here – did you write a note? To the store?” (my last name isn’t what you’d call… “common” :) )

For a moment I thought something had backfired with the email.

I sheepishly said “Yes, I did – I hope that’s all right”.

And then she told me:

How her store manager gave her a copy of the email, and how it started her day off so wonderfully.
And she thanked me.
And during our conversation I learned that I always see her on the weekends because during the week she teaches kindergarten.
How that week she’d had a tough week with her students, and she came to work dreading being there, feeling a little down, and that note changed her entire mood.
And at the end of her shift, the store manager gave her a $50 gift card as a thank you.

All that, from something that took 42 seconds of my day.

It felt SO GOOD.

I thought it would result in a pat on the back.
Instead, she got praise, a glowing note in her record, and a gift that was of real significance to her.
And one she deserved.

It made a real difference to her and it cost me NOTHING.

So I’m challenging you to do the same.

Start today. Do one small, unsolicited nice thing for someone else without any motive other than making a positive blip on someone else’s radar.  Doesn't have to be customer-service related.
Do something for a friend.  Or a family member. Or a co-worker.
Or a stranger.
Just do something nice. 

Write a thank-you note on a napkin along with your tip to the waitress who brought you lunch.
Feed someone’s parking meter.
Scrape the snow off a co-worker’s windshield.
Hold the door/elevator/whatever for someone.
Send an email about great customer service you’ve received.

Then hey, come back here and share about it!

It’s a Revolution, y’all.
Let’s start a Revolution of Nice.




  1. That is awesome! My husband and I always try to let those in the service industry who do a wonderful job know it (and we let their bosses know as well). It really is hard to find someone so genuine and that is wonderful that she was rewarded as well.

  2. I always try and praise good service. i remember going up to a store manager to tell him about a particularly helpful member of staff and he looked so shocked!

  3. great job and such a great reminder that being positive does pay off!

  4. This is just wonderful, gave me chills. I haven't done that in a long time, I really need to! The last time I can recall is when I had a really great waitress and when the manager stopped to ask how our meal was I told him.

    PS: Thanks for the congratulations! I am glad you're excited about your well deserved feature!

  5. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I'm in... I hope everyone comes back and shares their roles in the revolution ON THE V SIDE!