The clerk at the local hardware store was new to his job, one could tell, and he was having difficulty finding the right item in stock. Then the computerized cash register gave him problems, making the transaction take twice as long as it should have. Nonetheless, the clerk remained cheerful and clearly was doing his best at a new job. It was easy for me to forgive him because of that cheerful attitude.
In contrast, the clerk at the large big box hardware store knew exactly where to find the item I was looking for. But he directed me there with an expression that indicated he couldn’t care any less whether I found it or not. Perhaps he was having a bad day–it happens to everyone–and I’m not saying that every clerk in every big box store acts that way. But the interaction with the first clerk was much more enjoyable than with the second, even though the latter was more knowledgeable and better prepared to help.
A wise man once said, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” When dealing with the public, it seems a cheerful attitude covers a multitude of sins, as well.