While in a hurry, I popped into my favorite small neighborhood grocery store this week to pick up a few things.
As I quickly walked through the automatic doors into the narrow vestibule, I had to stop sharply to avoid walking into a young lady leaning hard against a soda vending machine.
She was staring intently at her cellphone and didn’t look up until I apologized for almost running into her. As I breezed past, I noticed she was wearing a polo shirt with an energy company’s logo on it.
I paused and turned around to verify that, yes, she was “on the job” there. Apparently, she was manning that company’s kiosk a few feet away.
A funny interaction a few weeks back had me reflecting on a favorite subject of mine. Most folks tend to overestimate just how much people actually know about them.
In this case, we were out for a (very) late dinner in New Orleans with friends. While there, a guy from the town I grew up in came up to our table. I hadn’t seen him in 20+ years.
After introducing our wives and exchanging pleasantries, he asked, “So, Dave…Are you still in radio?” I chuckled and said, “Well, not for 25 years now.”
He said, “Aw…man. That’s too bad. You were good at that.” (I think that was a compliment?) I joked, “Yeah, it’s been downhill ever since.”
I kidded about that interaction for days afterwards. Then, my wife asked me, “Why on earth would that surprise you? Do you have any idea what he does for a living?”
Well, no, I didn’t. Point made.
That encounter reminded me of a story I’ve shared with manager groups about when I managed my first in-store location. After 6 months of operating, we were surpassing all goals the bank had set.
I was pretty cocky about the splash we had made. It was obvious everyone in this store knew us! Heck, everyone in town likely knew us!