I’ve had a few encounters lately that have left me feeling disheartened. Ones that make me step back and go ‘what happened to just being nice?’ I mean, when I was growing up my Mum always taught me that being nice was the way to go, that it’s just what we do. But lately I’ve been realising that perhaps not all people got this lesson.
I had a nasty run in with a business today that just put the cherry on the cake. This business is closing down and was having a big sale. So naturally I went in to have a look. I found a case for my Kindle which had a sign saying 70% off. I thought that was a bargain so I purchased it.
After getting home I realised I had been overcharged so I took the item back. The lady who had served me was so rude. I was pleasant, saying that I believed I had been overcharged for an item, to which she responded, ‘oh only some of the items are 70% off’. I asked where this sign was that stated which ones were 70% off and which ones weren’t, to which she couldn’t show me.
So I asked for a refund. Only to be promptly told there were no refunds or exchanges available. I asked where it stated this to which she replied ‘on the sign in front of the counter.’
Now, there was a sign in front of the counter, but it was covered by a stock stand and couldn’t be read. The lady also told me it stated ‘no refunds’ on my receipt. It may just be me, but I think it’s a little late telling me on my receipt that I’m not allow to have a refund… perhaps that’s a little too logical.
It’s clear from this encounter why the company is closing down. And perhaps the staff are a little disgruntled knowing they will soon need to look for another job. However, why would you choose to spread your bad mood by passing it on to someone else? Wouldn’t your days be much happier if you just smiled and were kind to people. You would get a much better response.
I’ve spent years in customer service jobs and even now as a Paramedic it’s clear that being nice to people gets you much further and makes your days much more bearable.
Not only that, but it’s just a much nicer thing to do. Be nice. Feel good.
So why is it that people have forgotten about being nice? Have they forgotten how to do it?
Perhaps things are a little different here in Australia too. We don’t tip our waiters or drivers, it’s just not the norm. So they get paid the same whether they smile or scowl.
But even then there’s motivation for being nice. It’s like people are only nice if they get something in return. “I’ll be nice to you… if you pay me a big tip.”
So rather than passing on my frustration that I felt in this situation, and responding in a nasty way to the lady. I smiled at her, said thank you and told her to have a nice day. And I was honestly genuine about it. It was obvious she needed some kindness. Yes, I felt like I had been on the receiving end of a wrongdoing but being cranky wasn’t going to change the outcome.
But maybe… just maybe, my smile and kindness to this lady would have made her stop for a second and think about how she had spoken to me. And perhaps she would be a little nicer to the next person she spoke to.
Because just like a bad mood, kindness and being nice spreads. You try it… the next person you see be sure to smile at them. I promise you they will smile back. Because it’s infectious. Being nice costs absolutely nothing. A smile takes next little to no effort. And such little things have have such a profound impact on your day, and someone else’s.
Just remember to be nice.