How far can a smile go?

by Jun 17, 2020

How many times do we contemplate our very existence and life’s purpose when working – more specifically, when working within a fast food joint and dealing with hungry, can’t-be-bothered-with-anything kind of customers?

Many (including myself, prior to working in the fast food industry) can tend to be incentivized by money – working each shift and looking forward to the best part of my workday, AKA punching in those digits and clocking out. However, I began to realize that life experiences, even ones as trivial as asking Margret what sort of sauce she wants on her burger, are genuinely what we make of them.

I became fed up with my own cynical, narcissistic (to an extent) mentality of only viewing my work experience as a constant trade off, with money as the only joy to come out of it. So, I decided to make some minuscule, yet gratifying decisions that continue to influence my overall mentality when approaching any kind of work.

The main tip…

Lady working at coffee shop smiling while writing down order

SMILE MORE. Yeah okay, perhaps too simplistic? But I really mean it – the physiological act of smiling actually activates feel-good neurotransmitters that relax our body, lower our heart rate and blood pressure.

Now you are probably wondering to yourself, ‘I have to put on fake smiles at work all the time and my heart rate doesn’t seem to slow down at all?’ Well, next time a customer approaches you, regardless of how flustered they seem from their day’s work or latest personal catastrophe, ask for their order but smile (not creepily or over the top) just try to take a genuine interest in what they’re ordering. See the difference in their response to you.

Humans are feeling animals, we constantly crave forms of affection, affirmation and to be cherished by others. Simple forms of appreciation make our days that bit more enjoyable. The next time you’re back at work, if it’s not too busy and you have some customers (or ‘people’, as I like to call them), ask them how their day is going. In a world that is so inter-connected, yet so Isolated from genuine human connection, the responses will be a success most of the time.

We humans like to be acknowledged and if you can strive to make some fruitful connections with your local customers at your franchise, this will make your work life feel much more productive and purposeful. Sometimes, smiling can even go a long way in times of conflict with customers. Of course no one should put up with assault or mistreatment, and you should follow whatever conflict resolution guidelines your workplace has in place, but a calm and smiley face can sometimes be enough to ease the stress of that anger-fueled customer (in my experience).  

So, where to from here?

White lady working at coffee shop smiling over shoulder

Well my fellow readers, I would now like you to really try apply this simple, yet effective tactic for your next shift that you’re working. Regardless of what you do for work, see the difference in attitude and responses from those around you when you put a good old smile on your dial. People are much more likely to listen to you and take you seriously when you seem approachable. Best of luck everyone and watch your interpersonal and communication skills flourish!  


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Veronica Mullane

Veronica Mullane

UTS Undergraduate Student

Veronica Mullane is a current UTS undergraduate student studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Human Resource Management and Marketing. With multiple years of experience in the hospitality industry and sports and fitness industry, Veronica provides a realistic, yet optimistic approach in managing and dealing with our work personality at work.