Friday, January 9, 2009

My New Year's Resolution: No Thanks!

Happy New Year, shoppers! I hope 2009 brings you financial and educational opportunities beyond your dreams!

My business-related New Year's Resolution is to stop saying, "Thank you." Well, not all the time.

One of the hardest habits I've had to break as a mystery shopper is the tendency to say, "Thank you" every time something is handed to me. My mama drilled it into me good that polite people say thank you.

But as a mystery shopper, I need to give the salesperson time to thank me without stepping on their cues. If I say thank you when my purchase is handed to me, the salesperson might check off "thanking" on their mental checklist and perhaps not give the "thank you for your business" closure they are instructed to give.

But breaking this habit has been a difficult one for me. My way of dealing with it (and many of the other challenges of shopping) has been to slow down the entire transaction. At a drive-thru window, for example, I'll arrive at the window with my car window rolled up. The few seconds required to roll my window down are all I need to catch a nametag or proper description most times. As long as that event is not timed, there is no harm. Same thing in a department store. I'll get into my purse and fiddle for my keys instead of grabbing the bag as it is handed to me. This gives the sales person time to say "thank you" or whatever closing they intend to use before I'm on my way.

And, to quiet the mother in my head, I offer a sincere "You're welcome" when thanked.

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