A convenience store I frequent recently hired a new employee. She looks to be in her early twenties…around the age of my daughters. She has multiple face piercings and a purple punked-out hairdo.
The first time she waited on me, she seemed a tad unfriendly. Her response to my cheerful greeting was a bit abrupt. My general impression was that she had a punk attitude to match her punk hairstyle and piercings. It’s not that she said anything mean or disrespectful. But her body language and facial expressions seemed to convey that she didn’t really want to be there.
Over the next couple of weeks, she seemed to warm a little. Her response to my greeting seemed less tense. Still, she came across as not very friendly.
Yesterday, I stopped to fill my gas tank and grab a quick lunch to eat on my drive back to work. Punk Girl took my order and bagged my fish fillets. I paid her with exact change, grabbed my lunch and walked out with a quick “Have a good afternoon!”
About the time I reached my car, she came running out of the store, waiving a dollar bill, and yelling, “Sir! Sir!” As I turned, she ran up and handed me the dollar bill, explaining “The cost was $5.79 and you paid me $6.79!”
“Oh! I’m sorry!” I replied, “Thank you, so much!”
With a sincere “You’re welcome!” she flashed me the biggest, friendliest, warmest smile!
I drove away realizing that my perception of Punk Girl (whose name I still don’t know) was instantly changed from someone I regarded with a little suspicion to someone I genuinely like.
First impressions aren’t always right…and it’s amazing how impressions can be changed by a simple act of kindness…and a warm smile!
When have your first impressions proven to be wrong?