I got a really nice compliment from a customer today.
There was an older Hispanic gentleman that came in talking on his cell phone in Spanish. He tried to hand his cell phone to the other greeter that was working with me, who flat out refused to take the call, and basically made fun of the guy for trying to give her the phone. Obviously the person on the other end was someone who could translate for the man, and get his needs across to us. I took the phone from him, and talked to his son, who told me that his father no longer wanted his phone, and wanted to know when his contract was up. I helped him the best I could, and handed the old man the phone back, and he hung up with his son.
I had spoken to him a little in Spanish when he first came in, and he assumed I was better at speaking Spanish than I am, but I tried my best. I explained to him in Spanish that there would be two associates working at noon that spoke fluent Spanish, if he would like to come back to cancel his phone then. I gave him their business cards. He told me he needed to pay 2 bills, so I helped him with that. We tried our best to understand each other, and I apologized for my poor vocabulary. He told me that I spoke better Spanish than he spoke English, and I guess that really was the case. We thanked each other and he left.
After he left, another customer called me over. She said, "I just wanted to commend you for how you treated that gentleman." I'm confused at this point, wondering if she knows something I didn't know. Apparently she had been watching the entire interaction from the time he came in the door. "You were extremely patient with him, and I could tell by his speech that he has had a stroke besides speaking with an unusual dialect which makes him difficult to understand. He wanted someone to listen to him, and the first girl he went to for help ignored him, where you went out of your way to help him. He'll probably look for you now when he comes back. The other girl needs to learn how to treat people."
I thanked her for her compliments, and told her how much they were appreciated. I told her that I was trying to get into nursing and that I've worked with people in nursing homes that have similar problems (language barrier or not), so I've gotten to be rather patient with them. She told me that the medical field would suit me well, and that I would make a great nurse.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not great with customers all the time. I'm often silently cursing them, or judging them, or writing blogs about their clothing.
So, I guess my point in all this is... giving compliments can really change a person's outlook on their whole day, and sometimes even more. A few people close to me have said, "you'd make a good nurse, I think you're doing the right thing," but I have to wonder if they're saying that only because they feel obligated.
Compliments come few and far between, but this one meant a lot, because it came from a complete stranger in a cell phone store. If a stranger thinks I can be a good nurse, I can almost believe it too.