On my recent trip to Virginia, I became quite observant of body language and how people respond to certain gestures…mainly a friendly smile. I couldn’t believe the amount of people who just don’t smile let alone make eye contact with others. I was amazed that my first friendly encounter was with a TSA worker at Orlando International Airport. In the past, I have bashed TSA in my blogs for being jerks; however, on this trip TSA was friendly in both Orlando and Washington Dulles!
I visited wineries in the Charlottesville, Virginia area and received top notch customer service at Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery. The tasting attendant Susie was very friendly and even went out of her way to interact with my toddler who was quietly observing everything from his stroller. The wine wasn’t anything to write home about; however, I’d visit again just because the atmosphere was inviting.
The winery in Charlottesville that was least friendly had to be Blenheim Vineyards. Dave Matthews is the owner of this vineyard and his step sister actually helped us with our tastings. It was a rather odd experience to say the least. Perhaps he was just trying to save money by having family help out at the winery, but whatever the reason she was a real piece of work. It is a shame too because despite the odd experience we received, the wines were actually decent.
My family attended a Taste of Italy event at Doukenie Winery in Loudoun County, Virginia and I am sad to report we did not receive very friendly treatment while there. We were ignored repeatedly by the staff which was shocking considering that is not what we have come to know and expect from this winery. We are Heritage Club members too and will rethink that decision when our membership expires.
Finally, while at the Southwest counter in Dulles, the female employee we encountered took the cake for being a jerk. She never made eye contact with my family once and she barked instead of speaking. Hello lady, I am a frequent traveler so don’t treat me like a moron. Also, when I ask you a question don’t act like it pains you to use a little energy and look at your computer screen. How did I respond to her nasty attitude, I killed her with kindness. I was overly friendly by saying “thank you” repeatedly and smiling nonstop (so if she looked up from her scowl she would see my pearly whites flashed at her).
Bottom line is this, a smile goes a long way so don’t be afraid to use those muscles! A first impression is lasting and a simple smile can help make that first impression a good one! Employees who interact with the public need to realize they represent their employer. The way they treat customers or guests plays a major part in opinions formed about a product, service and/or experience. Think twice before you decide to be nasty to someone because you never know who may blog about it for the entire world to read!