Hello shoppers... 

Another glorious late-Spring weekend, along with today, another day that bids adieu to it, and the promise of many more of each, as we quickly approach Summer's official appearance at the party.

Welcome to Monday! 




Your friendly Unsecret Shopper's usual M.O. on day 1 of the new work week is to bombard you with reader reaction to the prior week's blog posts. That would include Thursday's Secret Shopper review of Best Buy, for which there are many comments to share.

Let's move all of that into next week, shall we? All of that "Best Buy rocks and you stink, Jonnie" or "Best Buy stinks but you stink less" feels out-of-place to my heart, following a happy weekend that felt like a Santa's gift bag stuffed full of fun toys.

Especially when we have two more winners in THE SMILE PROJECT!



Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!

The Smile Project began two weeks ago today, as a way to acknowledge and reward those happy people working with the public, who share their joyful spirit with the customers they serve, in the form of a smile. 

Anytime I see someone working in a retail setting who smiles while they're engaging me, they get $25 cash, on the spot, along with a photo taken of them and their pearly whites, which is then shared with you. 

After 14 days and dozens of encounters with retail staff, I'd not seen a lot of smiling faces - only one, actually, profiled the following day, Tuesday May 25th, in First Winner In The Smile Project And Customer Service Quiz II. 

Then, on Friday of last week, and again yesterday, Sunday, it was BOOM! and then, again, BOOM! 64 pearly whites, spread out inside two happy mouths, attached to the beautiful faces of Katie, who works at Casey's in Norwalk, and Kim, who is employed by Hy-Vee on Grand. 

The reaction of both young women, after being told they'd each just won $25, and why, was as fun to watch as you'd imagine. I'm going to try - wait...Yoda says, "Do or do not. There is no try." Okay, I'll just make sure it gets done...to video capture and download reactions of future Smile Project winners on the trusty Blackberry, so you can enjoy them as much as I, and they, do. 

For now, here are the girls, effortlessly recreating their smiles. 




When I told Katie she'd just won $25, she wasn't quite buying it, at first.  

"Is this serious? Am I on Candid Camera or something?"  

She became a believer when I put a 20 and a 5 on the counter. 

After I'd left the store and drove off, I remembered I'd forgotten something and went back for it. Before I entered the store again I snuck a peek through the glass door and sure enough, there was Katie, smiling away at patrons, something she's probably been doing without knowing she was doing it, since she was hired. 

Now everyone knows it, Katie. :) Great job! 

At Hy-Vee on Grand, I didn't immediately tell Kim but went first to Mike, a store manager, who couldn't stop smiling after I explained everything to him. 

He put up a "This Register Closed" sign so Kim could come over and hear the news. 

"This is such a great idea," she beamed. "I love this!" 

Probably as much as lucky Hy-Vee customers love seeing your incredible smile, Kim. And I promise you, none of them take it for granted. :) Awesome job!

When and if you visit the Norwalk Casey's, or the Hy-Vee on Grand, look for Katie and Kim, who are happy to help you, and happy people, period. 

Besides Katie (1) and Kim (2), here are 18 more reasons for all of us to smile today, at work, at home and at all points in-between. 



3. Because somewhere, someone is thinking about us, and smiling. 


4. Because life is so silly that sometimes, we've just gotta smile.  


5. Because somebody who is watching us, may really need a smile.  


 6. Because as someone once said, "The world always look brighter from behind a smile." 


7. Because if she can smile, so can we.  


8. Because a smile goes so good with a good joke, like this one: 

"A scientist who was successful at cloning frogs, cloned one who could talk. But soon the frog began to swear. The scientist tried everything he could think of, but the frog would not stop swearing. Then one day he clacked two spoons together and the frog jumped off the table and "croaked." Soon after, the frog police arrived and arrested the scientist. 

The charge? Making an obscene clone fall." 


9. Because smiling relieves stress, boosts our immune system, lowers our blood pressure, releases serotonin, makes us look younger and seem more successful.  


10. Because if we smile, we live longer.  


11. Because you can make $25 by doing so. 


12. Because we've got limited time on Earth, and unlimited smiles while we're here. 


13. Because when we get home, he/she will be waiting for us.  


14. Because something worth smiling about is going to happen today - so why not get a jump on it? 


15. Because this hippo just got the joke from #8. 


16. Because as someone once said, "There are thousands of languages in the world. But a smile speaks them all." 


17. Because if he can smile, so can we. 


18. Because a smile makes us look more attractive.  


19. Because life just seems more fun when we smile. 


20. Because you may have forgotten how - but you still can.  



Smile. God loves us.  



Jonnie Wright is a customer service evaluator and trainer, professional secret shopper, marketing strategist and host of The Unsecret Shopper Radio Show, Saturday mornings 8-9am on 1350 KRNT. Email Jonnie at jonniewright@thebuyosphere.com. 





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