This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, February 18, 2013

We All Make a Difference

This is a story that you may have heard before. I couldn't verify its origins on snopes.com, although it is said to be a true story told by Barbara Glanz CSP. If anyone knows, please let me know and I'll post it!

A few years ago, I was hired by a large supermarket chain to lead a customer service program to build customer loyalty. During my speech I said, "Every one of you can make a difference and create memories for your customers that will motivate them to come back.


"Put your personal signature on the job. Think about something you can do for your customer to make them feel special; a memory that will make them come back."

About a month after I had spoken, I received a telephone call from a 19 year old bagger named Johnny. He proudly informed me he was a Down Syndrome individual and told me his story.

"I liked what you talked about," he said, "but at first I didn't think I could do anything special for our customers. After all, I'm just a bagger. Then I had an idea! Every night after work, I'd come home and find a Thought for the Day. If I can't find a saying I like," he added, "I'll make one up."

When Johnny had a good Thought for the Day, his dad helped him set it up on the computer and print multiple copies. Johnny cut each quote and signed his name on the back. Then he'd bring them to work the next day.

Johnny said, "When I finished bagging someone's groceries, I put my thought for the day in their bag and say 'Thanks for shopping with us.'"

It touched me that this young man with a job that most people would say is not important had made it important by creating precious memories for all his customers.

A month later the store manager called me. "You won't believe what happened. When I was making my rounds today, I found Johnny's line was three times longer than anyone else's! It went all the way down the frozen food aisle. So I quickly announced, 'We need more cashiers; get more lanes open' as I tried to get people to change lanes. But no one would move. They said, 'no, it's OK, we want to be in Johnny's lane. We want his thought for the day.'

"It was a joy to watch Johnny delight the customers. I got a lump in my throat when one woman said, 'I used to shop at your store once a week, but now I come in every time I go by because I want to get Johnny's Thought for the Day.' "

A few months later the manager called me again.

"Johnny has transformed our store. Now, when the floral department has a broken flower or unused corsage, they find an elderly woman or little girl and pin it on her. Everyone's having a lot of fun creating memories. Our customers are talking about us, they're coming back, and they're bringing their friends."


Isn't that so cool?

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