Good Business

I learned this poem by osmosis, and can recite it from memory to this day. It was hanging in the bathroom of Ross’s Super Value, the Griswold, IA grocery where I got my “start”. My boss, Ross Armentrout, was a master at customer service:

Good Business, by Edgar A. Guest

If I possessed a shop or store
I’d drive the grouches off my floor
I’d never let some gloomy guy
Offend the folks who came to buy
I’d never keep a boy or clerk
With mental toothache at their work
Or let a person who draws my pay
Drive customers of mine away.

I’d treat the person who takes my time
And spends a nickle or a dime
With courtesy and make them feel
That I was pleased to close the deal.
Because tomorrow who can tell?
They may want stuff I have to sell
And in that case then glad they’ll be
To spend their dollars all with me.

The reason people pass one door
To patronize another store
Is not because the busier place
Has better silks, or gloves, or lace,
Or cheaper prices but it lies
In pleasant words and smiling eyes.
The secret that I believe
Is in the treatment folks receive.

It is good business to be fair
To keep a bright and cheerful air
About a place and not to show
Your customers how much you know.
Whatever any patron did
I’d try to keep my temper hid
And never let them pass along
The word that I had done them wrong.


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