The joys of the season

money overhead big billsI am a big online shopper, trying my best to avoid the stores during the busy holiday shopping season. However, my husband insisted we spend some time window shopping at the mall while enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. I reluctantly went. We pulled into a parking space farthest away from the mall. I couldn’t believe the shortage of spaces. The chaos outside made me want to drive away, afraid of what we would experience inside. What we found surprised me.

The mall was filled with people. Some stores were wall to wall shoppers with little room to move. The noise of all the holiday chatter echoed off the walls. When I looked around, I saw shoppers carrying multiple bags. Despite the crowds, it wasn’t chaotic. It was orderly.

One place where I expected chaos was the Santa line. The line was wrapped around the display probably 50-100 deep. Surely, the patience was wearing thin for somebody. I looked around and didn’t see one child running around, screaming, or crying.

I was shocked. I’ve visited gaming and play centers on a weekend, and it’s filled with children running around, screaming, or crying. However, the magic and power of Santa had all these children on their best behavior.

holiday shoppingShoppers were not only on their best behavior, store clerks were too. They were helpful and pleasant. Granted they’re told to be on their best behavior as sales during the holiday season are crucial to the future of some of these businesses. While corporate may send that message, reality doesn’t always allow a smile and courteous attitude. The retail business is tough and involves long, tiring hours. That can easily get the best of any human so I expected “someone” would be in a bad mood. I didn’t find anyone during my visit.

It’s amazing how much one person’s attitude impacts the next. With many people in good moods, the spirit of the season was felt by many. The good mood became contagious. One woman even commented to the manager about the good cheer.

We were eating at a restaurant in the mall parking lot, and the woman in the booth next to us asked for the manager. That’s never a good sign, and you could see the server was concerned by the expression on his face. He even went over to the woman after she asked for the manager, and had a brief interaction. Clearly, the server was concerned about the customer’s request.

The manager came over, and the customer asked her to sit down. Another bad sign, or was it? I couldn’t hear everything that was said, but the next thing that I heard was the manager thanking the woman over and over for sharing such positive comments. The manager told the customer typically she hears the bad feedback rather than any positive feedback about servers. She thanked the customer for sharing.

The manager and customer talked for almost ten minutes as if they were good friends. The manager made it known this was a rare experience.

Minutes later the waiter stopped by the booth to thank the customer. He really was a great server, and we left him a 30% tip to thank him for his good service.

I must say the shopping experience was unexpected for the holiday season. It was nice to see good customer service still exists and good behavior from customers still exists. We hear all about the bad store policies, why not focus on the positive? We all need a bright spot in this still sluggish and unpredictable economy. I hope you’ve also enjoyed the joy of the holiday season. Share your stories of positive customer service by clicking comment below. 

3 thoughts on “The joys of the season

  1. I was in Stop & Shop in Connecticut this past week… and I couldn’t believe what a nice experience it was. People were cheerful, smiling, saying hello in the aisles… kids asking their parents for healthy wheat bread (instead of white)… it was bizarre and awesome! It was certainly contagious. I was so surprised that I had to make a Facebook update about it. Maybe everyone is on their best behavior because they think that the world is ending next week? Ha. That’s my only explanation for it!🙂


    • Thanks for sharing Skye. I know it’s crazy we are commenting on good behavior, but it really struck me as odd as well. Good explanation – we’ll see what happens next week when the world ends. We have a photographer at work going down to Mexico for it. Can’t wait to hear all about it. He booked a return ticket!🙂


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