About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

M2081S-1029I had a lovely surprise on Friday when I arrived at work (Livingstone Textiles in Bridport) to find these flowers waiting for me. A customer brought them in to say thank you for the help I had given her in working out her fabric needs. She has a fun and challenging project, renovating a vintage 1950s caravan, and it was complicated working out everything she needed.

It was such a pleasant surprise to be thanked in this way, because as far as I was concerned I was just doing my job. It seems as though my customer didn’t see it this way, though. She thought the attention and help she received was over and above what we have come to expect these days.

I’ve been thinking over the weekend – should I feel proud of having given her good service? I think not, because I still think that it is my job to give the best possible service to every customer who walks in the shop – whether they are buying a metre of elastic or placing a thousand pound curtain order. I am also not the only one who treats customers this way – all of our team give the same level of service, and have since my boss took over the business a couple of years ago. And do you know what? It’s good for business! We are becoming known as a nice place to shop, and word of mouth is bringing us more customers.

Thinking back to my former career in IT makes me realise that not every workplace is like this. Often there is a culture of ‘just doing enough.’ Or different departments defending their territory instead of working together to give the customer the best service they can. It’s not nearly as much fun to work in an environment like that. If you do, what can you do? Well, you can be different, do your best regardless, and maybe even recruit others to your cause. Who knows how far the ripples might spread.

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Comments on: "Thought for the week – Just Doing My Job" (4)

  1. Beautiful – how rewarding! It obviously gave the lady a lot of pleasure to give you the flowers, so take it and share the love!
    I sometimes think in our modest British ways we can undervalue gratitude and generosity by saying “I was just doing my job”. Yes you were – but you did it delightfully. And as you correctly point out there are other adverbs one could use to describe how jobs may otherwise be done!

    • Thank Juliet, I hadn’t even thought in terms of it giving the lady pleasure. The flowers still look lovely in my kitchen and are a much needed touch of spring.

  2. Your customer was obviously delighted at your service, and you are obviously delighted to be in a situation where you can be of service. And the joy surrounding that exchange ripples out in unimaginable ways, touching others such as the florist. When done from a place of love, helping others and asking others to help us is a beautiful way to live.

    • Thanks Sallyann. It is lovely when you have a happy customer, and even better to work somewhere that happy customers are the norm. It helps that our products are bought mainly for pleasure rather than necessity.

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