Occasionally I like saying things/doing things that throw people for a loop. A good loop, not a bad loop.
Catching people off-guard by responding in a positive or funny way is a good way to get a conversation going, lay the groundwork for a relationship, or simply get someone to smile who may have very little reason to do so.
Let me give you two examples from last Friday.
I stopped by a Pilot gas station/convenience store that morning primarily to get a free newspaper. Pilot gives anyone who wants one a free Knoxville News-Sentinel on Fridays. Not sure why they do this or what kind of arrangement they have with each other, but I don’t have to understand it to take advantage of it. Since I was there I decided to purchase a Diet Dr. Pepper and some Combos (the REAL breakfast of champions).
When I made it to the cashier, there was a large stack of Honey Buns sitting there. The cashier looked at me and sensing that I might be an easy mark for an upsell said, “Honey Buns are 3 for $1 today.”
I looked back at her and without skipping a beat replied, “So I can get 300 for $100?”
She took a step back like I had stabbed her, blinked her eyes hard a few times, looked up at me….
and laughed and laughed and laughed.
What I said wasn’t really that funny. I think it had more to do with her not expecting me to say anything more than “no thanks.” She thanked me for a good laugh and I wished her a good day. Maybe I helped make it a little better.
The other incident involved a car with one of those “How’s My Driving” bumper stickers on it that I saw later in the day. I’ve seen plenty of these bumper stickers throughout the years, but I’ve never called the number. I decided it was time to change that.
I called the number. A nice, friendly voice greeted me and asked me the identification number of the car that I was calling on. I told her. Then she asked me what bad driving behavior I was calling to report.
“I’m not calling to report bad driving behavior. I just wanted to let someone know that the driver of the vehicle was doing a great job of obeying all of the traffic laws and was operating the vehicle in a courteous manner.”
She seemed a little bit flabbergasted at what I said. “Ummmm…so you’re not calling to report bad driving behavior?”
“No. Whoever is driving was doing a fabulous job. I thought someone should know.”
She asked me where I saw the vehicle driving in such a fabulous fashion. I told her. Then she asked if the driver was really driving as good as I had described. I said yes. She thanked me; I thanked her. And then the call was over.
I’m hoping that the conversation gets reported to that person and that person’s boss. Why?
Because we hear plenty of bad comments and criticisms. Because maybe the driver needed some good news. Because our ability to help make someone else’s day often goes unused.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be kind and in a world as negative as ours a little positivity goes a long way.
What are some things that make you smile?
What is your favorite “snack cake” and how long would it take you to eat 300 of them?