The Art of “Smile & Nod”

Anyone who has every worked with the public in any capacity – server, salesperson, pharmacy manager, you name it – has been forced to learn the art of “Smile & Nod” –

smile nod

You have to be pretty adept at smiling and nodding when working with the public. I don’t think it is the intent of most people to be insensitive or insulting, but sometimes their mouths open and words just fall out.

My own ability to smile and nod has really been put to the test lately, given the fact that the store I co-own is closing at its present location and moving to a new, what-I-hope-to-be better location. Here is a random sampling of some of the recent ridiculous comments made by visitors to the store…

“So, your closing, huh? Could you not make it here?” and

“I’m so sad you are closing – do you know what store is coming here in your place?” and

“It must be hard to close your store and move. If I give you cash, what is the best price you can give me on that sofa? Will I have to pay sales tax?” and

“I love your store. I’m so sad you are closing.” (always said by someone I have NEVER seen before and that buys NOTHING after this “sharing moment”)

So, yeah – my “smile-r” and my “nod-er” have both been seeing a LOT of action lately. But that’s OK; as I said, I don’t think anyone intentionally says these things in a mean-spirited way. I guess I just wish people would complete sentences in their heads before they roll them off their tongues.

I mean, I don’t think anyone would ever say this, right?

“I’m so sorry to hear that you are getting a divorce. Do you think you will ever get married again anytime soon?” or

“I was so sad to learn that you had to put Fluffy down. Do you think he felt anything, or did he just close his eyes like he was falling asleep?” or finally

“Wow, that was some bad car accident you were in – was the other guy’s car totaled as well?”

Extreme, right? But to me, the remarks above show the same level of insensitivity and thoughtlessness as the questions people ask me about my upcoming store move. I hope people read this and come to understand that sometimes two-part comments are best left at one sentence. I would LOVE to hear any of these remarks:

“So, your closing, huh?” or

“I’m so sad you are closing.” or

“It must be hard to close your store and move.” or simply

“I love your store.”

The move will be sad and hard, but necessary. I am looking forward to all the excited, welcoming remarks when we move into our new location. I’ll keep you all in the loop…

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