I have been on a journey for some time now, and it’s what Gretchen Rubin refers to as The Happiness Project. That also happens to be the title of the book I am currently reading. While creating my happiness project for over the last two years, I have become aware of many things. For instance, my thoughts have a profound effect on my actions, and those actions really can affect how I behave and impact how others behave towards me. I am also reasonably sure that many people are living their NOT so happiness project every day, and because of that, they affect not only their lives but also the lives of others. Their unhappiness has a resounding impact far more significant than people can imagine, and I make mention of this in my book Beat the Toughest Obstacles. It is otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect.
You are probably wondering where I am going with all of this. Please stick with me.
Today I was in Sprouts, which is a small chain of stores in Texas that houses healthy goods. I love Sprouts because they have a variety of products that fit with my health niche, and truthfully I get excited every time I go there. I love checking to see if anything new has come out that I can add to my arsenal of healthy products. The other thing that is great about Sprouts is that they provide excellent customer service, and up until today, they have never given me subpar service.
Today was different, though.
Upon reaching the check out lane, I witnessed a situation that resulted in six different people being affected. When I arrived, Cashier1 was checking out Customer1 that was immediately in front of another Customer2 and myself, Customer3. As I walked up to check out, I could hear Cashier1 repeatedly asking Customer1, “you want to purchase this item again?” It was evident by the Cashier1’s tone and the speediness in which she was asking, that she was frustrated. However, Customer1 remained calm.
Another store Cashier2 approached the two ladies and asked an unrecognizable question. Cashier1 repeated multiple times that Customer1 wanted to purchase the item. Once again, you could hear the frustration in Cashier1’s voice, and as Cashier1 and Customer1 finished the transaction, Cashier2 whisked the Customer2 that was in front of me, to another checkout lane. Cashier2’s next action surprised me. She could have quickly taken Customer2 to the counter and continued to check her out as expected. Instead, as she was leading Customer2 to the other lane, she made a negative comment referencing Customer1. By the time I reached the conveyer belt, Cashier1 was anything but pleasant.
It got me thinking about how vital customer service is to the client experience, but also how one small infraction can leave a negative mark in the customer’s eyes. It also got me asking questions. Is this the ongoing environment in this store, or was this a single occurrence? Did the management change? Are these people just miserable that they get so easily frustrated? I get it, they deal with a lot of people daily, and I am sure some of the situations are not always favorable, but this is their job. Isn’t it?
More notably, this situation reminded me that the happiness project is powerful. How easy it would have been for me to get frustrated by all of this. My happiness project, however, focusses on manifesting happiness. So if I want to create that, I am going to display that. In doing so, it allows me to dismiss negative stuff a bit easier.
When it was my turn to check out my goods, there was an additional Customer4 that witnessed the occurrence. She smiled at me after all this transpired, and I would like to think, in some way, she understood what was going through my mind. I am a believer that when we are happy, we exude happiness. We treat ourselves differently, and we treat others differently. Things that may have bothered us before no longer resonate with us. We become less frustrated, and it shows in our work, our personal lives, and ultimately in how we treat others. People that are happier tend to be more productive at work, and they get along better with others.
I don’t presume to know any of these ladies’ circumstances, and I don’t know what led up to this event. I believe you cannot judge someone unless you have walked in their shows. All I know is six people witnessed an unfavorable situation that could have most likely been diverted. There are so many great lessons that came out of this incident. For instance, we should be careful how we treat others, because someone else may be watching. We should treat people the way we would like to be treated. We are always a work in progress, and we can choose to be happy if we want to. We should all smile more, and let’s all try to let the little things go. We can always be more kind and have empathy for others. More importantly, START your own happiness project and see what happens. I dare you!