My local Publix market is very customer friendly. They actively encourage their customers to take advantage of their “carry out” service and have their bags taken right out to their cars.

It’s all part of the ‘Publix – Where Shopping is a Pleasure’ experience. The service is free and no tipping, please!

Each grocery bagger is supposed to ask the customer if they may take the cart out to the car for them. I usually refuse, since I am strong and capable and the task usually goes a little quicker if I am moving solo. I can’t even remember if the bagger asked me while shopping yesterday, since I had another stop planned after the checkout.

Question Marks

I was feeling lucky and wheeled my cart to the service counter to buy a lotto ticket. The manager was at the register and after giving me my ticket and wishing me good luck, he looked past me, and apparently seeing a “teachable moment” waiting to happen, said to the bagger, “Don’t forget the magic question, Brett!”

Don’t spill the milk. Don’t drop the ball. Don’t trip.

All of these are commands that the subconscious mind hears as a direct order: Spill the milk, drop the ball and go right ahead and trip. Uh-oh.

The subconscious mind can’t understand the reverse of an idea and so by telling Brett NOT to forget the magic question, “May I carry out your groceries for you?” his manager planted the idea of forgetfulness.

How many times do you waste a teachable moment telling someone what you don’t want them to do rather than what you want them to do? Start noticing. Reverse the trend.

“Remember to ask the magic question,” speaks directly to the whole brain, and will get more consistent asking. And as a result, it will yield happier customers who all are offered the opportunity to take advantage of the carry out service.

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