Part 2: I said thank you, already!

As promised, I conducted an experiment into how to be less damn grateful at work.  (This won’t sound quite so rude if you read my last post.)

Here are the results:

It was almost impossible to resist the urge to thank each and every customer for thanking me for thanking them for doing exactly what is expected of both of us in a retail exchange. At one point, I became so distracted by the MAGICIAN who walked in and produced a packet of One Direction themed Love Hearts out of thin air for me, that I threw in a few extra ‘thank yous’. And ‘wows’.  Although I probably won’t eat the Love Hearts,  because they appear to have been made back in the days of Zayn.

Every time I was successful in handing over the necessary amount of gratitude, I did feel slightly peculiar. It was a bit like I had taken a bath with socks on. Not fatal, but definitely not right. I suppose it’s because it has become so ingrained in me to over-thank, that projecting less appreciation upon strangers is going to take some practice.

Hopefully some of you were interested in this short, follow-up post. Let me know if you were in the comments!

I said thank you, already!

I’m not an overly grateful person, but I think I said thank you roughly 50,000 times today. Why? Because I work in retail, in Britain. That makes for an overwhelming combination of gratitude and apologising for no real reason.

Every exchange with a customer requires at least four offers of thanks:

  1. For handing over the item they wish to purchase.
  2. For giving me their money.
  3. For thanking me in return.
  4. For leaving.

This abundance of appreciation does make you wonder about the value of the word. Am I really grateful for every step of the retail journey? Am I genuinely glad to receive a handful of coppers to count out? Or am I just filling the gaps in our exchange in an effort to be polite.

I’m leaning towards the latter.

But of course, we have to be polite. So perhaps, as retail assistants, we could try to be more creative with our niceties:

Customer: hands over items

Assistant: I shower you with appreciation

Customer: hands over money 

Assistant: Do I get to count all of these? That’s spiffing!

Customer: thank you

Assistant: Indeedy

Customer: leaving

Assistant: Jolly good. Tally-ho!

I know, it sounds bizarre. But that’s the point. It sounds as ridiculous to say ‘spiffing’ in the 21st century as it does to say thank you four times in under a minute. Almost every interjection from the assistant is unnecessary, but we will continue to over-thank at the risk of sounding insincere in order to be polite. 

So what’s the answer? To hell will politeness. Tomorrow, I am going to perform a wild experiment and say thank you only when it is necessary. Wish me luck and…

Thank you for reading!

Behind the scenes of Private Practice Hub: what is it really like to work in the business of therapy?

Taking a three week holiday can be expensive, especially if you are a student, which is exactly why I have spent the rest of my university vacation trying to make up for the dent in my bank account.

In terms of finding employment, I have been lucky. My first job was great fun, but my contract only lasted four weeks, so I thought I might be in a spot of trouble…until Private Practice Hub joyously sprung out of the woodwork!

I will admit my friends were rather puzzled by my new workplace.

‘Uplands Road, Saltford? Are you sure you’re not working for your boyfriend?’ one quipped. (In case you are wondering, a) that’s where he lives, b) I am sure and c) I resent every implication that comes with that question.)

Some of them asked what it was like to work in another person’s home. I said it had its perks.

‘Well, it’s much more inviting than a gigantic office with a disproportionately tiny amount of paper cups for the water-cooler. And there are cats.’

Am I in the way?

But it’s not just about the home-comfort factor. Working at Private Practice Hub was exciting in its own way. Different phones were ringing so often that by the end of my first day I had memorised which ringtone matched each phone and almost plucked up the courage to answer one. Geoff even trusted me with organising important data from his Business Partners, which was kind because usually nobody trusts me with their partners. I’m kidding!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Private Practice Hub is highly active on social media, even more so than me, a student. My lack of a Google + account is clearly letting me down. Nonetheless, ever the professional, I soldiered on through my shame of a rather dwindling Twitter account and ate my lunch when I wanted. That’s another great thing about Geoff, he trusted me with my time, as long as I got my work done. He also made me a sandwich, so that’s two massive thumbs up.

Aside from Geoff’s culinary and social media skills, I have really enjoyed my time at Private Practice Hub so far because of the welcoming atmosphere. A professional environment where basking cats are allowed and jokes are encouraged, what more could you want?