There are so many language barriers in retail. Every few minutes of everyday I cross paths with a customer who does not understand my speech. We both may speak English, and we both may be fully capable of articulation, but when I speak, when I reach out, their responses are not the appropriate responses to what I have said, at all.
Let me demonstrate:
Me: “How are you doing today,”
Customer: “Just looking.”
We speak different languages not in relation to our common tongue, but rather our vernacular is skewed through our life’s experience.
Dear customer my goal is not to pull the money from your wallet but to put a smile on your face. That is what I love about my job, the amount of lives I can touch, the lost souls I can seek, and average days I could fill with whimsy. I may not speak for all of retail kind, but I speak for me. I speak my language.
My language defers from their’s, and their language defers from each other. We are all unique, that’s what makes this world so beautiful and retail so thrilling. If I ask an employee to keep the floor replenished, they may interpret that not as the urgent matter that I intended it. Inventory restock may only happen at night if I had not specified otherwise, because that’s their experience. As a manager I take the effort to find my employees’ language, understand their interpretations, and learn their own tongue. This is not a task that be completed, because each day, week, and year alters us through new life experiences.
We are living Babel, we walk the streets not truly understanding the meaning as it may have been intended. We may have a glimpse, pick up on fragments, but we can never truly know.
So when asked,
“Did you have a satisfactory visit today?”
the correct responses is not, “no thank you, I already have plenty.”
Perhaps it is time for us all to reevaluate our listening and tune in to the words that are spoken so that perhaps, we can hear the voice and less of our own experience. Back then is never today, and growth can only come from listening.
Until next time fan boys and girls—>
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