Here comes another metaphorical post.
I walked into work one day without a name tag. At the cash register, it was easy to see that I was an employee because I had access to the equipment that only employees can use. But when i leave the register, it is more difficult for people to distinguish me from a customer. Surprisingly, that whole day, people approached me as an employee. They asked me questions about the store and about where to find things. Some people didn’t even ask me if I work here.
Here’s how people knew I was an employee of the store:
1) They saw my confidence. Having worked there for several months, I learned a lot about where things go, how to handle customers, and what to do when we have a slow day. I walked around the store knowing where clothes went, how to organize clothes on the rack, and how to fold clothes on the table. Most customers do not know how to do those things.
2) They saw my actions. As I did everything that I am supposed to do at work, people noticed. They had seen me behind the cash register, so they knew they could ask me a question even though I was away from the cash register.
3) They saw how I interacted with other employees. When we see each other all the time, it is easy to become close. I talk to my co-workers in a very informal manner. We joke around and help each other with our tasks. Even new employees talk to their co-workers in a certain way. Customers recognize who is an employee when they see the way that employee interacts with other people.
That age-old expression tells us not to judge a book by its cover. There is so much more to language and appearance than the way we look. What message are you portraying?