Standing in Their Shoes
Kristian is fast approaching his 17th birthday. He is on the path to becoming an independent young adult. He wants to start working. So that he can make some money. And to build on his new found confidence. By talking to customers.
He had previously left his resume at the local Officeworks store. They told him to come back in October.
So he did. This time he spoke to the Store Manager. She looked busy. She was showing someone how to complete a task. At the same time her ear piece was relaying a message from another staff member. But she still made time for Kristian.
Kristian introduced himself and explained that he was back to enquire about working at the store.
“We have finished our recruitment process. Did you apply online?”
There was an uncomfortable pause. This was new information to Kristian. On his previous visit, the person who Kristian had spoken to did not tell him to apply online. Kristian’s father (who was standing close by) over heard this. He could not hide his disappointment for his son.
“I left my resume with the person at the desk.”
The Store Manager had a blank look on her face. It was obvious that Kristian’s resume had not made its way to her.
Another uncomfortable pause. The Store Manager could feel Kristian’s (and his father’s) disappointment.
“I will look for your resume Kristian. In the meantime, put your application in online. We have some more casual jobs opening up in November.”
On the drive home Kristian’s dad started to talk to him about empathy. To look at things from the other person’s perspective. To stand in their shoes.
“Did you notice how busy the Store Manager was? Do you think she will have time to go and look for your resume?”
Kristian realised that he should have had a spare copy of his resume with him. He pictured himself in the Store Manager’s shoes. If that was him, he would have appreciated not having to go look for someone’s resume. Someone who may have been accidentally overlooked.
His dad agreed with him. But rather then dwell on this, he offered to take Kristian back to the store so that he could hand a fresh copy of his resume to the Store Manager.
Kristian returned an hour later. The Store Manager was busy so he spoke to the concierge.
“Hi, could you please give my resume to the Store Manager. I was in earlier and spoke to her. She was really busy at the time. I wanted to come back and give her a fresh copy of my resume so she didn’t have to look for it.”
The concierge had remembered him from his visit earlier that morning. She contacted the Store Manager over the ear piece. The Store Manager had already tracked down Kristian’s resume. Kristian smiled. She had made an impression on him. By showing some empathy, he hoped that his return visit had made an impression on her.
Image by chezbeate.