After Brexit …
If anyone begins reading this with the idea that all will become clear by the end, let me disabuse you right now! Sadly (though how I wish it were different, because thus could I make my millions), I have absolutely no idea how things will pan out for us all, but this morning in Wells, I saw a couple of things which gave me cheer, so I thought I would share them. They relate to both ends of the age spectrum, and I hope they give you the same lift that they gave me.
Firstly, I decided that after a gruelling session in the gym, I would treat myself to a cup of coffee. A conversation was going on between a young mother and her little daughter, who was probably not yet three years old. “Now,” said mother, “before we go off to play, we must pay our bill.”
The café was quite busy and there was a group of people around the till, but the child was lifted and the girl behind the counter took time to have a conversation with her, thanking her for her money, handing her some change and giving the little one an opportunity to enjoy an experience and to gain some confidence in talking to new people. As an onlooker, I was touched by how the time and care was taken with this small child.
The second incident occurred just ten minutes or so later, when I visited one of our city’s small independent shops. I was second in line to an elderly customer who was struggling with steamed up spectacles and on top of that, couldn’t hear too well. Without any fuss, a second member of staff came from the back of the shop to serve me; however, having an elderly parent, I felt my ‘fuss-o-meter’ revving up, and I was wondering whether to try and help. Thankfully, I managed to mind my own business whilst the proprietor calmly chatted to the elderly customer about the weather and the products available and eventually, in her own time and without fluster, the lady chose what she wanted.
Once again, I had witnessed patience and kindness by a local business owner enabling someone to fulfil a task effectively and with dignity. No help was required from a fuss-pot, just the time and space which was willingly given.
As I left the shop with my purchases, I realised that these episodes had created such a good feeling for everyone involved. So, when Brexit comes, whatever happens, it would stand us in good stead to remember these examples of patience and kindness. It struck me that these attributes of good service will help small businesses stand head and shoulders above the competition. Ultimately, it is the little differences which will help us survive and thrive in a market place which is increasingly turning away from the vast and impersonal, and towards a style that values individuals.
So, I suggest that after Brexit, we should continue to develop these skills and hopefully, they will help us overcome whatever Brexit-caused problems we may encounter.
Have a happy Spring!