The secret to business success

During a trip to Wal-Mart, this communicator realizes that success depends more on being nice than being qualified.

In the checkout lane at Wal-Mart, I figured out the secret to success in today’s business world.

With chips, salsa and a few veggies in the plastic-bag merry-go-round, I slid my credit card through the magic scanner, anticipating the “Is this amount correct?” prompt.

But instead of the usual screen taps for amount, cash back, and a scribbled signature, this question appeared: “Was the cashier nice?”

“Nice?” I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I just wanted my bag of goodies and to be happily on my way. But this corporate giant wanted to know if we—the cashier and I—got along during our shared moment in time.

I didn’t want to get the cashier in trouble. Sure, she was nice. I checked “YES” and left.

On the way home, the prompt got me thinking about last year’s July 4th car rental. Knowing I’d be landing late on a holiday weekend at a small Wisconsin airport, I wisely called ahead for a reservation. But when I arrived, I was told there were no cars available.

“What about my reservation?” I asked.

“We have that,” the clerk politely replied.

“Then where’s my car?”

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