My daughter recently had one of those days. You know, the days that make you feel frustrated, worthless and/or unloved? She had that in spades! After coaching in a volleyball tournament where her team had more losses than wins, one of the parents let their frustrations get the best of them and took it out on the coach, my daughter. I just want to say to anyone who has children playing sports that coaches give so much of their time, talent, and love to the kids they coach for not a lot of compensation. In other words, they are doing this because they love the sport and the kids, not for the paycheck. There’s going to be a winner and there’s going to be a loser and it is frustrating to end up on the losing side, but that type of frustration shouldn’t be acted upon and taken out on the person who wanted your children to win just as much as you did, if not more! So after the outburst she got in her car for the 8 hour journey home. Then, after driving about 2 hours, she was pulled over by a police officer for going 52mph in a 45mph zone. That was her breaking point. She saw the officer get out of his car and place his hand on his gun. This is pretty normal but for someone who hasn’t been pulled over before it can be scary. So when the officer made it up to her door he saw a young lady in tears! When he asked her if she was okay, she unloaded on him! (poor guy) Here’s my paraphrase of what happened; “We lost, parent was mean, I miss my dog, you pulled me over and had your hand on your gun and it scared me.” This could have gone one of two ways, people or process, the officer chose people.
After listening to her the officer asked her if she was okay, and because they were pulled over at a gas station he asked if he could buy her a coke. I am guessing she reminded him of his daughter because my daughter said he was kind and understanding like “Dad is.” They each drank their cokes, my daughter started to feel better and was ready to drive again. The police officer’s parting words were; “Ignore ignorant people and please drive safe, take your time and get home to your pup safely.” Pretty good advice I would say! Each time you serve in a guest experience role you have the same choice as the police officer, people or process. You could choose to leave your serving spot and help a single mom trying to get her 3 children checked into children’s church while the diaper bag is falling off her shoulders as she is holding the baby and trying to capture the 2 year old or you can hold a door open because you’re supposed to. Which one do you think would make the biggest kingdom impact? I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a strategy to how we serve our guests, but what I am saying is error on the side of people! During our Guest Services orientation I always give each new team member the permission to leave their post to serve someone in need. Maybe that need is corralling 2 year olds, or maybe someone needs prayer, or a tissue or to find the bathroom, whatever the need is, it’s worth it to go the extra mile for people.
In our team member handbook we say it like this;
“While our desire is to provide you with an understanding of the mechanics of Guest Services, please keep in mind that the way you welcome, inform, serve or otherwise assist guests, will stay with them much longer than any “functional” assistance you provide. Guests are more important than the systems.”
I wish I could say thank you to the police officer who took the time to make sure my daughter was able to drive safely!! I would totally buy him a coke and say a toast to him for choosing people over process!!