A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads
Have you ever noticed how the smallest and most petty people are the quickest to demand their “rights?” Day after day, I see pompous and self important people make outrageous and high toned demands upon cashiers, ticket agents, and waitresses across America, in effect saying, “I demand my rights.”
Every time I see this happen, I want to interrupt and say, “Upon what, exactly, are these rights based, and who, exactly, enforces them for you? In demanding your rights, aren’t you really just imposing your stronger will on the weaker will of another? Aren’t you simply abusing a person who has a greater sense of etiquette than your own? Is fear the only motivator you know how to use?”
I’m always entertained by watching these same, excitable little people when they feel they have a gun to my head. Having little fear and virtually no etiquette, my instant response is to say, “Okay, big boy, let’s hear the gun go Boom. I want you to go ahead and do all these bad things you threaten. I promise you my undivided attention, but it’s time to get started. Now let the show begin.” I have never yet met a person who really had a gun or was ready to pull the trigger. One after the other, they grow angrily confused and then walk away in frustration like so many Barney Fifes and George Costanzas.
Is extraordinary service from the waitress all you want? It’s really not that hard to get! All you have to do is glance at her name tag and then say her name with a smile every time she speaks to you. “Yes, Kathy, I’d love some more coffee, thanks.” It’s amazing how often people will respond like friends when you treat them like friends.
Make an experiment of it. Seriously. Watch for name tags this week and take advantage of every opportunity to call others by name. I believe you will be both startled and saddened by what you learn. Startled, because of the universally positive reactions you will see; Saddened, when you realize that no one else is doing it.
You have the right to make others feel valuable, important, and loved. Oddly enough, it’s a right you will never have to demand.
Roy H. Williams