Polished

I went to the drug store the other day in search of nail polish. I’d all but given up on it. Normal nail polish chips within an hour. Salon gel and lacquer polish lasts for weeks, but has to be soaked off with acetone, leaving my nails weak for, well, weeks. I’d heard about new options, though, so off I went to investigate.

I spotted the location pretty quickly. The big “Manicure” sign helped a lot. That’s when I saw them—three store employees and a big cart, stocking in the space under the big “Manicure” sign.

They saw me coming. I tried to see a way around without disturbing them, but they were literally in front of all the nail products. One of them asked if they could help, and when I explained I wanted to look at the polish, the youngest sighed dramatically and said, “Come on around.”

I squeezed through the tiny space on my tiptoes as one girl murmured something.

The Drama Queen sighed again and said, “But I’m working! Besides, I’m not in the way, the cart is in the way.”

I laughed out loud. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t an amused laugh, either, and I’m pretty sure they could tell. Drama Queen and The Murmurer left, and the third girl moved the cart to the other side of the aisle. She’s the one who helped me find what I was looking for. She even suggested the top coat was important but not vital. (Yes, I bought it.) When I got home, I found the customer survey on the website and sent a detailed account of my experience.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been in customer service jobs for decades. The number one thing businesses need to survive is customers. It doesn’t matter what the business is. If no one is buying your product, you’re sunk. It’s in the best interest of a business to make their product accessible and to have helpful employees. Helpful employees are the key to turning lookers into buyers, and getting happy customers through check-out and out the door in the shortest time possible. Happy employees are helpful employees. I can spot an unhappy employee from fifty yards. I saw two at the drug store. One was the manager.

I get it. I’m not crazy about my job sometimes. If I do it right, the customers never know. When they think I’m happy, they buy more, and that’s good for business. Drama Queens are really only good for one thing: fictional cannon fodder.

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