“I thought about you.”

I don’t ask people “How are you?” – you mostly get back bullshit.  I ask “What’s been a highlight of your day?”  All day long, I ask most of my customers – unless I am tired, too depressed, too burned out from one customer after another, or if the order is really small.  Very often they ask the question back of me and I get to share one of my highlights.  Sometimes, something in the encounter is a highlight for both of us – that’s where magic happens.  This is one of those encounters.

I asked, “What’s been a highlight of your day?” to a cute 30ish woman who later turned out to be a very accomplished potter.  (Asheville is so loaded with talented people, artists, musicians – they turn up everywhere.)  As so often in this job, she knew me, but I did not yet recognize her.  For all I knew, she might have never before come through my line – but she had.  She said,

“I was at Lowe’s this morning, having a nothing exchange with a cashier – and I thought about you.  I thought how you would ask me what was a highlight of my day – and something real would happen.”

This took my breath away, made me feel like it’s all worth while – and got me even more committed to asking my question.  I’ll never ask it all the time – and it would not be useful to do so.  Sometimes customers who I don’t remember or recognize insert it themselves when I haven’t asked it: “The answer to your usual question is….” Or they’ll start the encounter by saying, “I’ve been thinking about how I would answer your question today….” But I want to not miss the chance to ask it – I want to feel into “Is this a time to ask it, even if I’m tired or overextended or depressed?”

I want to not miss a chance to make it real.  What if this is a customer who at Lowe’s this morning was thinking about me?

5 thoughts on ““I thought about you.”

  1. I love this! We have so many barriers that something as simple as this unexpected (or for some expected) question is enough to enter into a real connection.


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