The Fishmonger and the Note

Something really nice happened to me today as I was buying fish.

Yes. Fish.

I needed fish for a dinner party, and the fishmonger (I’ve never used that word in writing before)–the fishmonger–asked me how he could help me. He stood there in his big white apron with all the fish smells wafting about him, and he listened intently to my elaborate dinner plans and how I might prepare the salmon I was thinking about buying.

You know how some people make you feel stupid and act impatient and distracted in these kinds of situations? Well, this fishmonger didn’t. He listened and listened and then went out to a big truck where a salmon delivery was happening, and he rushed everyone so he could get the perfect salmon for my party. And I told him all about my budget, so he made it work for what I could afford. Then he talked with someone who could offer multiple suggestions for preparation and presentation. It was just simple, regular customer service that most people have come to expect, but something about the whole exchange made me so happy.

I felt valued. I felt valued because of the time spent, the listening, and the extra work on my behalf. I felt so important and cared for. Nobody rushed me or made me feel like a bother.

The other day, a saleswoman noticed how one of my daughters was really struggling trying to find the right kind of shirt. It was stressful and difficult. The saleswoman was so patient and fun and encouraging. She wouldn’t give up on my daughter; she brought us so many options and stayed with us the whole time. We eventually found a shirt after redecorating the whole fitting room area with clothing. We purchased the shirt and returned to the car.

Then, my daughter notices a little card inside the bag. She pulls out a handwritten note from the saleswoman, on beautiful stationery, about my daughter and how wonderful she is and how she hopes the shirt works well.

My daughter was so touched. “Why would she write this to me? When did she have the time?” She kept the notecard in a special place in her bedroom.

I know she felt valued.

I think of kind fishmongers and loving salespeople who interacted with complete strangers as if they were the most special people in the world. I want to treat others like that.

Time; listening; extra work for someone; pretty notecards: all ways to love someone with flair.



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