I joke that if Disneyland is the "happiest place on earth" then any Walmart is the "most miserable place on earth."
Walmart is the butt of many jokes.
I had to stop in one the other day (don't judge, it happens).
As I was putting items on the belt to checkout, I noticed the man had the typical "I can't believe how miserable this job is" look across his face.
I wonder if it's a requirement to work there.
The lady in front of me separated her basket of items into three different purchases.
His scowl was extra scowly after this.
As the lady put the last bag in her cart, she ignored the man. She didn't say anything. She turned away and started yelling at her kid to stop running around.
I walked up and looked at the man, I matched his expression as he stared at the lady leaving. I took a breath. And took the opportunity to put that lady's situation behind us. I put a grin on my face and asked him:
"How much fun are YOU having today?"
He chuckled and said, "Well, I'm at work but it's not that bad."
I replied, "Yeah, it seems busy today. That's nice. It makes the time go by quickly so you can have more fun later, no?"
He agreed and started ringing up my items. As he put the first items into a bag I started to grab the bag to put it into my cart.
He stopped me and said, "No wait. I'll do that for you." He came around the counter, took my cart to his side, then bagged and put the items in the cart.
I've NEVER had someone at Walmart be that helpful (Okay, I admit I've been to Walmart more than once).
He didn't do it for the lady before me. He didn't do it for the people behind me either. I looked back as I was leaving the store.
It was a very brief interaction but it's what counts. These small moments can have a huge impact.
When you take the time to shed a little light into someone's dark world, they'll go out of their way to help you.
Most people live their life being swept from one emotion to another with no real control. You have the ability to plant seeds of growth and make someone feel good for absolutely no reason. Why not do it often?
It costs you nothing to make someone feel good.
And it usually only takes a few minutes to do. The quickest way is to start with something that's unexpected.
I didn't ask, "How are you?" That's what everyone says. You wouldn't really think about your answer and would spit out, "Good," or, "Not too bad."
I love to ask, "How much fun are YOU having today?" and watch their expression.
The reactions will vary drastically. Some people will roll their eyes and look at you like you're crazy. Others will chuckle or tell you they're having a lot of fun. Most will be somewhere between the two extremes.
If you're going to use your influence skills, do it every day and in every situation.
Practice making people feel good.
It doesn't cost you anything.
And, as Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
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