When I first took over this new delivery route to the South Towns, I was somewhat puzzled by the way I was treated. It seemed that the pharmacy workers I met had an attitude of distance, mistrust, and coldness, almost conveying to me the feeling that I was not even welcome in their store. The technicians responsible for checking in the order would sometimes ignore me or make me wait on some paperwork detail I needed. It was a disheartening feeling and I was saddened that I had even changed to a different route.
On my last route into Lockport, almost everyone I met greeted me with warm smiles and inquisitive talk of my well-being. We would chat about the weather, how our day was going, and later after I knew them better what our children and grandchildren were up to. I introduced one person to Geocaching – which became our prime topic of conversation – and another has a golf tournament as a memorial to her father, and I have played in that the last two years. I always left their stores with a warm feeling and friendly good-byes.
As I began to gather information from my fellow workers and new customers, it became apparent what was happening and how it had happened. The driver on the route before me developed an attitude that the store personnel and he were always in conflict. If the workers in the pharmacy were busy and couldn’t check in his order immediately, he would get mad and threaten or leave without completing the delivery. He always thought everyone was out to get him, make him wait, or somehow make his job miserable. It became a competition about who could mistreat whom the most.
There is an old saying, something about ‘flies’ and ‘honey’, that really is true. After I was on the new route for a few days and once I got to know them and they got to know me, the job became immensely more satisfying. I always have a smile and a friendly greeting for everyone I meet during the day. If there is anything I can do to make their job easier, I try to do it. If they are busy and can’t get to me right away, I tell them that I understand and it’s all right. And I always leave by saying their name in a sincere thank you and a friendly goodbye.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m a pushover and subservient in my job. Everyone can have a bad day. Sometimes things go wrong and something happens that’s just not right. They know when I’m not happy with a certain situation, and I make sure they realize that a delivery person’s time is important too. But mostly now they can’t do enough for me. A lot of the time it seems like they fall all over themselves just to help me out. When I roll in with my dolly, I hear “Dale’s here”, and they rush to check in my delivery. The ladies at Wegmans always give me a coupon for coffee and an independent pharmacy offers me candy and drinks every day. I can now say that I am friends with everyone on my route and happy to see them everyday.
I’d like to think the world would be a better place if we looked more for the good in people instead of the bad. I guess both sides of politics would work better if we…opps, that’s a topic for another post.