Best baked bread…

It was late in the evening and finally wrapping up the action items, files & cabinets for the day in my head (mentally speaking!) I proceeded towards executing the final act of closure – clicking the “Shut down” button on my laptop. As if waiting to get some rest itself, the SSD machine zapped into a digital hibernate waving a quick “see you tomorrow mate!”

One final look at the digital twin to ensure no more dangling emails craving for “open up, you’ve got mail!”, I headed out of office with my legs on autopilot.

And then without any sympathy for the situation, as if to smirk a retort to my momentary “done for the day” feeling, my mobile threw up the reminder – “fresh bread from gateau”.

I desperately tried to remember Hogwarts and the spell to conjure an object. Closing my eyes and with all intent & focus I thought – “Accio freshly baked bread from Gateau!” – and waited for it to fly by. In a minute’s time the moment of silliness disappeared and I mustered the determination to take a detour to the Gateau outlet in the galleria to work on the last and most important action item of the day!

May be my feeling of “closing down” or the calling of the late evening bright sunshine, I could empathize with the different store owners also working on their closing routines. And it was no different in gateau. She was wrapping things up, sorting the different bakery items and tidying up the place with her back turned to the counter. And why not, it was 20.45 in the evening and 15 mins for the store to close down!

Although it was not a welcoming (and an encouraging) reception, with a slight frustration creeping up in my voice, I waited a couple of minutes to get the attention of the person while looking at which bread to pick up. She turned around half surprised, half flustered with a “oh! the customers don’t give up do they, why don’t you guys just go home?” kind of expression. I gave her another few moments to compose her thoughts and ask me the question – “Hej! how can I help you sir?”

It was a perfect opportunity to be the disgruntled and cranky customer! “Hey! I am the customer right and I am paying for what I want after-all“. And then came the Morpheus moment – “you have a choice! the red pill or the blue pill?”

I said with literally both my arms slightly lifted “I love the breads you make at Gateau! I am looking for the world’s best baked fresh bread to take home and make an impression today, can you help me please!”, with an ear to ear smile.

This was not normal behavior at this time of the hour (not normal, most times of the day I guess!). But then you cannot escape a genuine smile. She burst into a soft laughter and said “Of course sir! I am very happy to note that you like our bread. At this time of the day, they are not very fresh to be honest, but I will find a good one for you…here you see this one and this one…” and she went on forgetting the tiredness of the day and giving me a demo of different options I “should definitely” consider.

As I paid for a couple of varieties that I bagged and wished her a good evening, I let out a “good job!” whistle for myself and headed home more energized than ever.

Thank you “accio” for not working and thank you “morpheus” for braking me just in time. I guess spells & shortcuts don’t work, but smiles do! And being a good customer is just as fun too!

Categories: Experiential

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Well articulated, may be next time, while i am also trying to get home or down due to some reason. Will certainly make some one smile. It(smile) is contagious they say!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read it. First of all you summed up so well – a very small interaction at the bakery store. It is interesting to read. However the message in this post made me think. Both as a customer as well as service provider. What makes someone to go to extra mile especially when day is to close but demands come to serve. Of course if someone is supermotivated to meet the expectations whatever be the case then no issue but asks with smile, requests alongwith appreciation or even demands with pat on the back works most of the time.
    Excellent post. Loved it !!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well written! This account could be described as an excellent depiction of Dale Carnegie’s recommendation on how to influence people:” talk in the other person’s interest” and “make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely”. I’d bet you are a natural at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is no bigger motivation than ‘bringing a smile’ to some ones face.
    Whether that be for your kid at home, or your friend off work. But this was way ahead, bringing smile to a stranger is a quality which tells how motivated and confident you are and nothing can stop you.
    Also, you don’t loose anything by appreciating someone, so y not let’s do it.. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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