Don’t you think the smile is underrated? It’s such a funny little physical thing when you think about it…turning up the corners of your mouth, maybe bearing your teeth…not much to it really…
But if the eyes join the party…lighting up the whole face…well, this little thing might just make a big difference to your day…particularly if it comes from a stranger, and even better if they are serving you at the time. They might even be on the other end of the phone, but you can feel their smile, and it makes you feel good, and therefore more connected to them.
Over the past twelve months, I’ve had cause to be in London quite a lot, and while the general rule of thumb is that our capital city is a cold and distant place when it comes to interaction, that’s not been my experience. Maybe I’ve just been lucky (it has been said before), but I’ve found a number of shops and restaurants where the service is good in terms of speed and quality, but more importantly (to me), it’s also been friendly…and warm! One of these is the McDonald’s on Regent Street, just round the corner from where I was working. I was never going to be their best customer…I only ever had coffee and porridge (diets have so much to answer for) but the warm welcome I received every day made me feel just that…warm and welcome! I sat and watched them as I ate and really enjoyed how they treated every single person that came in, no matter how busy they were…it was just great to see such warm and friendly service, which didn’t take anything away from the speed that some of their customers clearly needed. Eventually I asked the seemingly ever-present manager Tracey, what the secret was… ‘I only ever employ people who smile’, she said, ‘If you have people who naturally have a warm smile, the rest is easy’. Hire the smile! Sure I’ve heard that somewhere before…but it’s a pretty good adage to work to, don’t you think..?
PS My dad was 90 last week…he’s got a great smile…really twinkly eyes! I love smiley people!