Behind the Counter

So I’ll admit it. I’m a big shopper. Online, in the store – it doesn’t matter. I find shopping therapeutic and I’m pretty sure I’ve financed somebody’s daughter’s education with all of my purchases at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. Oh yeah, I’m a bargain shopper. In fact, it’s a badge of honor for me to tell you how much something should have cost and then how much I actually paid for it. I think it’s genetic (thanks, Mom).

When I met my husband, I was amazed at how much he loves to shop too. Now don’t get me wrong. I think 2 hours in one of my favorite stores would drive him batty. But give him a warehouse club and he goes nuts. The good people of the local Costco know him by name. That’s a little sad.

I have to admit I like Costco too. Besides having a nice variety of pretty good food, they just seem to be an all around good company. Good customer service, good to their employees. In fact, it’s usually a pleasant shopping experience every time I go in there (as long as I’m not tempted to buy the $1 churro).

And I notice good customer service because it is a rarity these days. I don’t go to my favorite stores because the cashiers are so gosh darn friendly. It’s often the opposite. But I tolerate it and complain to myself. After all, they CHOSE this job, right? I mean, I worked retail in my younger day and I was always friendly and helpful. Or at least I tried to be.

Stay with me because here comes the important part. As I was walking through Costco last week, I overheard the guy at the Verizon Wireless booth on the phone to someone. He seemed to be having a casual conversation and mentioned how busy he had been. His part-time worker hadn’t been in because her boyfriend had been killed in a car accident a few days prior.

I stopped in my tracks. I didn’t know anyone involved in the story. But instantly I was given the reminder that there is a story for everyone behind the counter. At some point, this poor girl is going to have to come back to work and pretend to care about the cell phones she is selling. All the while, someone will probably be complaining because they don’t want to pay for something extra.

Every person we come into contact with has a story. They may not tell you. You may not know. You probably won’t even see it in their eyes. But there is a story there. Sometimes it’s a good story and sometimes it isn’t. Either way, it’s a reminder that we’re here to work with each other – not serve each other.

I’m reminded once again of a shopping experience from one of those favorite stores. I had a return and the only service I was getting from the service counter was attitude. I finally looked at the girl that was helping me and said “hey, I like your sweater.” Her face lit up with a smile and she was as helpful as she could be. Hopefully I helped make her story that day a little better.

What’s my theme?

So I’ve decided to become one of “those” people. One of the 20 million or so bloggers (and growing) in the United States. Now, I used to think that blogs were for families sharing pictures of the kids, or for subject matter experts on a variety of business topics. I found that ANYONE can have a blog on ANY topic.

I was recently talking to a blogger friend of mine (Motherhood and Me) and told her how I was going to finally put my writing to some use. Her first question…what’s your theme? Hmmmmmm. What’s my theme? Well, I’m the theme. Isn’t that okay? Can’t I just write about whatever is on my mind? If I want to gain readership and make some money off this blog, probably not. But I’m not using this blog as a tool so much as an outlet.

I know a little about a lot. I’m way smarter than Wheel of Fortune but not quite up to snuff for Jeopardy. But I like to think and I like to write and I like to share. Oh, and I’m starting my own business. It’s a partnership, actually. And this business is all about increasing and improving your web presence. I figured I should practice what I preach.

Am I worried about what potential clients might read on my blog? Not one bit. My belief is that the business world is shifting and we want to connect with people. Real people. Not just a company name, or a subject matter expert. But a real person with a real life where work is only one part of those you do business with.

So I’m Fadra. I’m a worker bee and super mom. Or at least I’m trying to be. Hope you’ll come along with me.

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