I recently started my new career as a greeter at the local Home Depot in the town I live.
It’s the first time in my whole working life, some 40 years, that I have “punched in”.
It has taken me some time to get used to the driver of my time. “the clock”.
All my career life, I just went to work, started and finished when I did!
Agreed I spent way too much time at work, at the cost of family time, and what I got paid did not equate to my hours. I often think I got below minimum wage!!!
It is so strange to be ruled not by the job I do but simply because my job is “hourly” and I get paid overtime and for “every hour” I work.
Not every jobs’ value can be measured in the “labels they are given”.
I have always been aware that some of the most important of jobs have been way down the management chain. The hard-working employees at the “coal face” that is engine of all successful companies.
It is also the most rewarding of jobs I have ever had. I am a greeter and proud to be so!!!!
I have been fortunate of having many well-paid jobs, always associated with major responsibilities. With titles comes labels and with labels comes “stuff”.
Off course I worked for those jobs through qualifications, experience and promotions. I did my time and worked my way up.
That’s not the point though!
More recently following my retirement from the corporate world, I was discussing my new “career” with Doreen my wife, my new role as a greeter at Home Depot.
She asked me how it felt to be “a greeter” she asked as she said I looked the happiest I had been in years, and yet the job had nowhere near the “senior level of decision making” I had now left behind.
I agreed, but said it has the most important of roles
“To make every customer experience as enjoyable as is imaginable and to be the best coworker and thus the best greeter ever!!!
I said finally I get to do what I want to do, without the pressures associated in those “high level jobs”.
Gone is the politics associated with what my bosses wanted me to do, whether I agreed or not.
Gone was the pressures of a senior role and having little actual impact in the real decision making, and at last I could now follow my lifelong passion of serving people.
Now here is the strange thing.
My career has been in Human Resources! People!!!!
My job as an HR executive, whether in the Automotive space or in Healthcare was just another name for being a “greeter”.
The corporate greeter of people, from recruitment through retirement, and everything in between.
So, when people say well, now how do you feel being simply a greeter I say, “I love it!” I have been preparing for this job all my career.
They look at me quickly until I explain.
The role of greeter is one of the most important roles there is!
And here is what I say:
- It is often the first contact a customer will have with the organization.
- It facilities a potential poor customer experience to one that they could never have been expected.
- The impression of the greeter sets the tone of the whole customer experience.
- It is the face and the first cultural example of the organization.
- It facilitates a likelihood of a customer wanting to come back to not only purchase products but meet people who have created a shopping community.
- The role of the greeter is also the “glue” between every department and the customer.
- The greeter has the significant role of working between departments ensuring there is seamless customer hand over and importantly product knowledge.
- The face of an enthusiastic greeter is contagious to their coworkers and the public.
- The role of the greeter is to engender a team spirit which raises the spirit of everyone.
- The role of the greeter is to ask, “what else can I do for you?”
It’s probably, I know it is, the most important career move I have ever made. Its not about my university qualifications, my degrees or my titles.
Its not about the fancy job titles or the cars or offices I have had.
The role of a greeter sets the experience level for every customer who comes to the organization and the desire for every coworker to want to work with them.
In the corporate role they may call this customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
To me it’s simply the role of the greeter, my new career and I love it!!
Thank you, Home Depot, for giving me the opportunity in my new career!
Thanks to all my coworkers who invited me into the “Live Orange” culture.
Peter, Simply the greeter and proud of it
Where drama stops and real conversations of the heart begin
Where the development of you is first and always a priority”.
I have never met anyone who has not had to live with drama or trauma. So it is part of life and part of the living.
The number of times I have had conversations in my role as business/hr professional /confidant is countless.
“My boss always pushes me to my limits”.
“I don’t think they hear the pressure I am under”.
“My relationship with…sucks”.
It makes me feel undervalued and not worthy. I am not being “seen or heard”.
I don’t have a voice! It is like I don’t exist.
I wonder how much is due to the perception of the person themselves on others.
Has there been any real attempt to “understand the people they are talking about”!
All to often our past experiences continue to cloud how we think today. How co-workers treated us then has given us a mental model that it will always be like that wherever we go or work.
Many relationships are “frozen in the wrong moment”. A moment that has long gone and now so fixated in our mind it stops us seeing and being in the moment of now!
Few of us want to live in the past and for many leaving that behind will allow them to breathe fresh and renewed air and ENERGY. It is also fundamental in allowing us to regenerate our mind and spirit and take us on our journey to where we want to go into the future.
We have to stop thinking “as it was’ but pause and reflect as it HAS to be.
Life is for living and forming breathtaking relationships that are forever memorable!
Every day ask yourself how will I bring the best of me into what I do.
All too often we want to fix other people BEFORE we fix what we need to work on!
In Her book “ Healing Trauma” Patricia O’Gorman PHD offers us coping strategies to “Learn to Live in the moment” Her thoughts on the need for us all to “self Parent” reminds us of the need to take care of ourselves.
It would do us all a power of good to do some of what she calls “ Soothing exercises that repair and restore” and learning thought replacement.
Everyone who wants to get a kick-start by looking at how they can improve their own lives and All Human Resource folks and indeed “Managers of People” should read what she has to say. Sometimes the answers are not where we think they are!!
Reference and ideas taken from the book “ Healing Trauma” available at the following website:
The pronunciation of the Chinese symbol for loyalty is “jong cheng”.
It’s a universal value that we all seek and is often the worst and the best of people! It’s been around from the days of Adam and Eve, and it’s not always for ever~ many people know this to their sadness and detriment! It’s something you have to work to earn and then work harder to keep.
So I sat down with a friend and we discussed the different loyalties there are….
1. The Generational differences: Between Gen. Xers, Y’s, Millenniums’ and the Baby Boomers. They all have different loyalties whether to themselves, to the workplace, to family, their gadgets, their future, some want goals and targets some are so laid back they are horizontal, some want to be communicated with others want to be left alone. One thing is for sure they have different loyalties and being aware of those differences to achieve inclusiveness when you hire these folks is crucial for fit in your business to assure engagement.
2. In the workplace: Is employee loyalty to the manager, the co-worker, the CEO, the business strategy the mission or a faith-based philosophy. Best to find out what it is, so that you know what sustains their intrinsic motivation. It’s also important to understand in these difficult times when employee loyalty is being tested with pay reductions, benefit cuts, layoffs. How is employee loyalty rewarded when they have given 30 years of their lives and how is the loyalty factor affected of those that remain?
3. In the High Street: The grocery and retail stores we shop at, the car dealerships, the places where we eat, and the doctors we trust. It all comes down to the fact that we return to places where we feel “treasured”, well maybe I should not go that far, but we do want to feel special for sure. How fickle can we be when in one instance we lose that “feeling of being special”. Oh Yes! Those retail loyalty cards that “buy” our loyalty is it us the stores want or our money?
4. Loyalty to your Country: The blind loyalty that gets people to do things for patriotic reasons sometimes against their own convictions. Often people die for this kind of loyalty- the supreme sacrifice.
5. Loyalty for a cause: The passion for Fundamental Rights and Freedom, Charities, a Church, a Club, or a Cause so unshakeable they will lose friendships for. History is littered with people who stood up for Freedom, Racial Adversity and Oppression.
6. Loyalty to friends and family: Blood is thicker then water so sometimes we stick by those we love just because… and we do so no matter what because we love them.
So how fickle is loyalty? I leave that for you to think about? Why is it often an uneven balance with one giving more then the other?
One thing is for sure having different loyalties does not mean you are disloyal to something else.
Being loyal to something different represents richness of difference and of inclusiveness of the people we are, and it’s not wrong to think or be different. What is wrong is not embracing those differences.
So is loyalty a one or two way street? I believe it’s a highway! A highway that asks us to drive together in our different “loyalty vehicles” of choice and our challenge is to ensure we reach the same destination- together without crashing into each other!
Picture by Foxie, guarding the body of her master Charles Gough, in Attachment by Edwin Landseer, 1829