Thoughts From the Coffee Table: Are some people allergic to smiling?
In the past 24 hours I have encountered numerous people who seem unable to smile. One person at my bank and another in a clothing store, were so particularly gloomy that I can’t stop thinking about either.
They didn’t appear sad as if they were having a bad day or just had some tragic family news. They just seemed….devoid of any life or joy. The impact on my customer experience was significant.
I wonder how people with truly stressful jobs, like tow truck drivers, maintain a positive demeanor when confronted by car owners. That, to me, would require exceptional ability to maintain inner peace. Being able to both disconnect with the plight of the driver who parked in the wrong spot and the ability to be yelled at frequently would take a toll on me.
But working in a bank or a hopping clothing store (get the pun?) seems much less stressful. And in these positions, a positive attitude is absolutely critical. Yet it is also often missing.
There are many ways to screen candidates for experience. But how do we screen for attitude? Is a warm body more important than a warm smile?
Is there a way for us to help enlighten these suckers of joy without shaming them? Or do we just love them, warts and all?