Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on July 28, 2017


– A little sincerity can go a long way.

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The other day we had a new FedEx driver make a delivery at our office in Palm Harbor. Since I happened to be by the front door, I opened it and watched him approach. He wore a scowl on his face as if he had been having a bad day. I opened the door, greeted him warmly, shook his hand and asked how his day was going. As I signed for the delivery, the driver looked at me strangely. I asked him if there was a problem. He said, No, it was just that I was the first person that day to be friendly to him and actually ask how he was doing. He said in most companies he visits he’s pretty much taken for granted and treated rudely.

I asked if he thought this was something unique to him as an individual. He said, No, the other drivers often speak of the callousness of their clientele. Come to think of it, I have seen evidence of this elsewhere. For example, when I go to a restaurant, the waiters and waitresses are often taken aback when I kid with them and ask them about their day. Often they look at me like I might have some ulterior motive. But once they get past this, they warm up to me and we have a good working relationship.

This made me stop and think about today’s corporate work place. Have we become so jaded and insensitive as to disregard the interpersonal relationships of our employees, our customers, and our vendors? Have we become so self-centered and aloof that we no longer care how we treat other people?

You know, I learned a long time ago that you can catch a heckova lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. A little courtesy and hospitality can go a long way with people. For example, I learned the virtues of a firm handshake some time ago. I don’t just give them some wishy-washy handshake and look through the person. I look them squarely in the eyes, shake their hand and tell them how glad I am to see them. Something as simple as a sincere handshake can work miracles.

We must remember that we don’t conduct our business with inanimate objects, but rather with human beings. Sharpening our people skills is incredibly important to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. Simple common courtesy is a big part of this. Try it. Next time that FedEx or UPS driver comes to your door or a waitress to your table, look up at them, greet them with a smile and ask them how they’re doing; heck, even often them a handshake. You will be pleasantly surprised with the service you’ll get in return. I’ll tell you this; we have no problems with shipments or deliveries at our office. How about yours?

First published: September 12, 2005

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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LAST TIME:  PARENTING MANAGEMENT  – Like it or not, businesses must teach the young how to act.

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  1. […] TIME:  THE DEATH OF COMMON COURTESY  – A little sincerity can go a long […]




  3. Tim Bryce said

    I just learned of you via a Huffington Post of your column on Facebook and enjoyed the column identified in the subject line. As you can see by my email address I also work for FedEx. I currently work in a business office but I was that courier that you came across for several years.

    I realized at one point that I was letting the pressure of traffic, the clock, and other people affect how I presented myself to others. I was pleasant but not happy if that makes sense. So, one day, I decided that I was going to be the bright spot in my customers day. From that time forward every time I entered a customer’s location for a delivery and was asked how I was doing my response was a resounding INCREDIBLE! At first the responses were along the lines of “oh yeah, sure” but as I kept it up day after day my customers got caught up in it and it got to the point where, when I get to a stop, the receptionist would say “Hey Mr incredible is here” rather enthusiastically. At one stop the receptionist even called people from another office to tell them I was there, they wanted to see the incredible courier.

    It was quite a learning experience for me because I learned how much of an effect that I could have on others. I could see that at many of my stops, when I arrived the person that I dealt with would put on a smile for me knowing that I would have one for them too. It also showed me that I could be happier if I was to “fake until I could make it” as they say. Even if I was having a bad day, it would get better as I went through my stops and put on my happy face.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents for you. Thank you for a nice column.

    Mike Eastland

    FedEx Express

    Milford, CT


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