It is a profound and moving experience when a minimum wage worker, especially one with no option to receive a tip, delivers an incredible customer service experience.
Think about that for a second: their performance cannot result in higher earnings, and their employer’s minimum expectation for keeping their job is below that of delivering a great experience.
Some fast food and retail establishments have done an exceptional job building a positive company culture, but I don’t think company culture is powerful enough to describe the motivation some workers inherently have.
I’m talking about extraordinary individuals.
I’m talking about a particular young guy in the Taco Bell drive-thru who absolutely blew me away with his ability to communicate and his willingness to make sure I had the exact number of Fire sauces I wanted.
I’m talking about the cashier at Target that exuded enthusiasm, paid me a compliment, and showed genuine interest while scanning my bottled waters and deodorant.
Warren Barhorst talks about hiring practices in his book Game Plan. He says that in his day-to-day transactions, he makes it a point to notice individuals who go above and beyond. He takes it a step further and gets the contact information of those individuals. When he has a position to hire for, he refers back to his book before ever posting a job listing online.
Dale Carnegie wrote about one of these particular individuals in his classic, How To Win Friends and Influence People:
“In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to be against him. He had never been able to attend school more than four years...he got a job pasting labels on bottles of blacking in a rat-infested warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room...he had so little confidence in his ability to write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the dead of night so nobody would laugh at him. Story after story was refused. Finally the the great day came when one was accepted...You may have heard of that boy. His name was Charles Dickens.”
When someone who cannot affect their income by performing better willingly chooses to go above and beyond, there is something to be said about that individual.
I would rather hire a passionate amateur than a bored professional. Notice the least, they might be the most in disguise.
Can you name one extraordinary individual you have encountered recently?