I made a muddle of the till. I entered the wrong figures into the wrong columns, printed off the wrong receipt and sent all of my very very wrong information to head office. I made a right mess, and it was all before nine am.
Needless to say I was panicked, I got all clammy and my head suddenly felt as though it was several kilograms lighter and I had to sit down for a second.
I regathered, I told myself "You are calm, confident and serene" in the words of my high school speech and drama teacher, Kate Kelway (We'll save her for another story, she was perhaps the classiest woman I've ever come across) and I carried on.
An hour passed, no customers, just Lydia and the store. No one to chat to, and no one to sell to. I'd botched up the morning's activities and I was without sales, I was ready to have a wee weep in the back room and I hadn't even reached midday.
Finally, two customers walked in. Relieved at the sight of someone with shopping to be done and something in mind, I talked my way through to the till where I put through the perfect gift for her mentor. She wasn't standoffish or rude the way some customers get around Christmas, she was chatty and appreciated the fact that I was genuinely interested in what she did, so she asked me what I did. I told her, we discussed a mutual love for Westlife amongst other things and when she had to go she thanked me with great warmth and told me she'd be back.
She made my day. Just by being willing to chat, just by being a Westlife fan, just by thanking me for putting in effort. From there on, I was on my way up. I was in a brilliant mood and dealt with other customers much better than I would've had she not come my way. It didn't take much but she really changed the course of my shift.
Be nice to a sales assistant. It doesn't take a lot to talk a little but it makes a world of difference. You never know- you might turn someone's day around. Be nice to a sales assistant.