The Difference

In some places the difference is in the trash cans…

The dollar bills the customer gets from the tellers are the same. What is different are the tellers. – Stanley Marcus, Chairman Emeritus, Neiman Marcus

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Jeff,

    Wow – that quote from Stanley Marcus hit me square in the face. I was just talking about that last night to my boys, and the difference the cashier makes in a store’s success or failure. If they don’t care, it shows. If they take pride in their jobs, it shows.

    But the transaction is a conversation that could go both ways. This is where our discussion came about. We were in a store, and the cashier didn’t look like she was really happy being there. For all I know, she could have been having a terrible day, and we just got to see the tip of the iceburg. But as we got to the counter, she robotically and unenthusiastically asked as she started scanning our items, “How are you doing tonight?” She really didn’t want a truthful answer – she was just doing what was expected or required of her. My son didn’t miss a beat, and piped up with, “I’m awesome, Ma’am!” Her face lit up from the doom-and-gloom look she had, and she goes, “That’s something I never hear!” As we left, I looked back, and she was waiting on others with a smile on her face.

    Sometimes, we forget in the hustle and bustle of life the concept that we aren’t always waiting for others to serve us, but we should be thinking about serving others as well. Instead of waiting for others to please us, we can be the catalyst in creating a pleasing situation for all!


  2. Couple thoughts triggered from your comment Bob:
    1. Be the change you wish to see. Your son did that.
    2. Have a purpose that is more important than your “job”. Yes, she’s a cashier, and could she also be a person who leaves the customer with a smile and makes them feel appreciated and valued as a customer?

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