Photo courtesy of

With all the drive-through business available to us and the self-checkout lines we use, we may not consider customer service as much as we used to.

But particularly bad or good customer service still stands out to me.

A couple months ago I was shopping in the Warrenton Food Lion grocery store. I was there barely two minutes when the produce manager walked up and presented me with a dozen roses. He explained the flowers had reached their sell-by date and he’d rather the roses go home for free with a customer than get tossed out.

The roses lasted for a full six days and each time I looked at them, I felt really positive feelings about the store.

On that same store visit, I was searching at the newsstand for a new locally-published magazine called SHE! A manager asked if she could be of assistance. I explained my search, and the manager knew what I was talking about, adding that she too found SHE! an intriguing publication.

“You go ahead and finish your shopping. I’ll look for a copy and find you in the store.” Unfortunately, when she found me a few aisles later, the news was that they were sold out.

She then said, “I have a copy at home that I’ll be glad to give you. Stop by in a few days.” And I did.

That’s two pretty amazing over-the-top service stories from a grocery store where I am not a regular shopper.

It makes me think that those two employees are well treated and they pass along the good will to their customers.

I’ve been quoted as saying, “I want to build relationships, not a mailing list.”

Because I believe it all begins with building a relationship. Not every single person I meet will become a client. It would drive me crazy to be nice and respectful ONLY to those I think will hire me one day.

Like the two grocery store employees, I want to be open and caring and helpful to anyone who crosses my path, whether that’s at a Chamber of Commerce meeting or the dog park.

We’re all on life’s journey. Be the best you can be and lend a hand to help someone else be their best as well.