Employees are the representation of your company and while finding good employees is easy enough to do, finding GREAT employees can be a bit of a harder task. A great employee has that special mix of intelligence, strong work ethic, good morale compass, resilience and ‘roll-up your sleeves’ attitude. A great employee is the one makes your business shine and unknowingly encourages all others to work harder. Nineteen year old Joey Prusak, an employee at a Minnesota Dairy Queen is a great employee.
If you haven’t heard the story, Joey, a five year employee and manager at a Minnesota Dairy Queen, recently made national headlines by simply doing what was right. After helping a blind customer who frequents the restaurant at the counter, he noticed that the gentleman dropped a $20 dollar bill onto the floor when fumbling to put the money into his pocket. An older woman, described as being in her 50’s or 60’s, who was standing behind the man picked up the bill, but much to Joey’s amazement, instead of returning it to the blind man, the woman put the money into her purse. When she walked up to the counter to be served, Joey asked her to return the $20 bill to the gentleman, but she looked at him as if she didn’t know what he was talking about. Joey asked the woman a second time to return the money, and she refused, stating that it was her money that she dropped.
Then Joey did something that makes him a great employee. He told the woman, “I’m not going to serve you if you are going to be disrespectful as you are stealing someones money like that”. The woman allegedly became outraged and disorderly, but Joey remained calm and told her again, “if you aren’t going to return the money, then you need to leave right now.” The woman stormed out of the store, with the $20 bill in her purse.
Now here’s what makes Joey a great employee, and an even better human being. After the woman left the store, Joey approached the blind man, took a $20 bill out of his own wallet, and said, “Sir, on behalf of Dairy Queen I would like to give you the $20 that you happened to drop on the ground as you walked away from the counter.” When asked by a local reporter why he did that, he simply said, “It was the right thing to do”.
A customer who was in the store and witnessed this whole event sent an email to the store owner outlining the event and offered praise for Joey’s actions stating, “I was shocked by the generosity that your employee had, taking his own money out of his own wallet to give to the customer because some other lady decided to steal something that wasn’t hers.” The email goes on to say, “So, from a customer of your store and a customer of DQ, I would proudly like to say that Joey has forever sealed my fate as a life long customer of the Mainstreet Dairy Queen. Thank you for your outstanding customer service and for an even better experience.” This email was posted on the DQ wall and appeared on Reddit, and has since gone viral.
Joey said that his bosses reaction to the whole event is one that he will remember forever. “He wrote me a note and put it in and envelope and goes, ‘You’re the type of man I’m proud to know’. That meant a lot to me.”
This is a great feel-good story and what makes it more interesting is that situations like this happen every day at brick and mortar businesses everywhere. As a business owner or manager, you might want to step back and evaluate how your employee’s would handle the same situation. Do you empower them to handle it in the same manner. If so, do they know that? Customer service begins at the ownership level and filters down from there. As an owner, you set the processes and procedures and the attitude of your business and that is what your employees will deliver to your customers.
So what do you think? How would your employees and customer service stack up?