I can’t keep up the high-intensity connecting, customer after customer, indefinitely. I need to chill back, coast, ground myself. Stay pleasant, friendly – but somewhat more in myself as opposed to out there with them.
Some customers help that – they are not available for connecting. They may be in a generic grocery store mode – they don’t expect the cashier to engage them. Don’t try – take this as a chance to drop back in.
The other day, I tried to engage with an attractive 40ish woman, but got nowhere. I decided that she was just kind of shut down. Then, after she left, I looked over my shoulder and saw her all animated with another customer. Don’t take it personal. For whatever reason, today, at that moment, she needed the cashier to be simply a cashier – not a multi-dimensional person. It’s alright.
When you get someone who is distracted or even unfriendly, thank them inside. “Thank you for braking my momentum” (especially when I am manic/speedy/overextended). “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to ground myself.” Thich Nhat Hanh encourages people to stop periodically throughout the day – just stop, in your chair, in the middle of the room – and come back to center, come back to who you really are. He tells us to thank a stoplight for stopping us.
So we can thank a person for stopping us. Stopping is good.