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Fill Me Up, TJ’s!

While some women go to the salon for a confidence-boosting pick-me-up, I tend to hit Trader Joe’s. Being an efficiency maven, it allows me to knock out some grocery needs while getting some third party love.

No, I’m not breaking my vows. But I am taking advantage of the fact that the employees at TJ’s know something about filling me up that other stores (and many people) do not.

Like Sam, who let me know that the Veggie Masala burger is “the best.” While a cutie, the tattooed, multi-pierced cashier could have told me that the freshly laid dog poop I deftly avoided walking in was actually a special order item and I would have said, “Okay, sign me up.”

You see, Sam knows how to make a lady feel … special. With a smile, he followed up his vegan recommendation with, “You eat really healthy; do you work-out a lot?” And, at the same time, he carefully placed each of my selections into the grocery bag. I left the store (as I always do) feeling damn good: uplifted and validated.

Maybe Trader Joe’s has a “don’t forget to compliment every tired looking, stay-at-home mom” section in its marketing plan — which is equal parts simple and genius. Tell someone something nice and they will feel “seen” and “heard”; the result (in this case) is an ongoing desire to patronize the establishment — and get the “feel-good-fix” they provide.

I, too, like giving compliments. When I see someone who looks like they lost weight or changed their hair, I make it a point to say so. When someone is wearing an item that I find striking, I let them know it.

We teach kids who struggle with social skills to strike up conversations by finding something they like about a potential friend. We encourage them to “fill other’s bubbles” by being generous and kind with his or her words. I know how it makes me feel to receive a genuine compliment, so I feel good dishing them out.

Now the full circle: The thing about TJ’s that is also unique is that the cashiers, too, are actually seen and heard. I know the pierced tattooed guys name. (It’s Sam).  I can tell you his kids’ ages and what he did last weekend.  Am I alone in this?  (Too friendly, perhaps?)

I don’t think so; but so what if I am?! I bet all 12 of you reading this also shop at TJ’s and can name your favorite cashier. The act of endearment elevates; the TJ’s cashiers are more than just random service providers because they care — so we care, too.

So, next time you’re feeling shitty, go buy some hummus and grab a refill of TJ’s love.



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