I would like to share with you a story that was shared with me and that will forever touch my heart. It was told at a coaching conference I attended last month. During his speech, Rick Tamlyn, the key note speaker, introduced the story of Johnny the bagger.
Now Johnny is a young man who works for a grocery store, and his job is to bag the groceries purchased by customers at the check-out stand. One day his company sent their employees, including Johnny, to a seminar to learn how they could make a difference in their customer's shopping experience.
At the seminar they were told "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."
Johnny took this to heart, and a month later he called Barbara Glanz, who spoke to them that day, and told her he was 19 years old and had down syndrome. He said that he liked what she said, but at first he wasn't sure how he could make a difference. After all "I'm just a bagger," he said.
But Johnny wasn't "just a bagger." It was true that bagging groceries was what he did, but what he did wouldn't define Who He Was.
Johnny had an idea.
His idea was to come up with a "thought for the day." He would either find one he liked or come up with one of his own and with the help of his dad would print and cut enough of them for each of his customers the next day. Johnny signed his name on the back and every customer who came through his check-out got Johnny's "thought for the day."
Such a simple act began to create an amazing reaction. People began lining up at Johnny's check-out just so they could get a "thought for the day." Johnny's line up was 3 times longer than anyone else's. When the manager tried to open more lanes to get people through quicker, no one would move.
They all wanted Johnny's "thought for the day."
Johnny made a difference through the simplest of acts, a "thought for the day." He was more than "just a bagger," he was a person who took a genuine interest in the lives of other people and all he did was put a signed piece of paper with a note on it into every grocery bag.
Turns out Johnny transformed the store, and because of his act other departments began to create innovative ways to appreciate their customers, like the floral department which began pinning broken flowers or unused corsages onto the garments of elderly woman and little girls.
In fact, some customers were so moved they changed their shopping habits to come in every day just to receive Johnny's "thought for the day."
Sometimes the simplest of acts can make all the difference in the world. The other day my two boys were leaving for school and as I hugged them good bye, I told them they had the power to make an impact in somebody else's life today. They asked..........
I said, "Simply smile at 5 people today for no reason other than they cross your path."
They did and they told me the people smiled back!
Whether it's a note or a smile we all have the power to impact the world around us, the how is up to us.
Be the difference.
Will you be a Johnny today?
|The Simple Truths of Service: Johnny the Bagger |