Okay, Chick-fil-A, I love ya. All the political stuff aside, you make the best chicken sandwich in the world. I can no longer bring myself to eat a chicken sandwich without a pickle and waffle fries will be served in heaven (with copious amounts of Heinz Ketchup). But there’s something you’re doing that drives me nuts.

The first time I thanked one of your employees for something (trying to be polite, so I thank people a lot) he said, “My pleasure” and I’ll admit it, I thought what a kind, well-mannered young man. I was impressed. Then I thanked someone else and got the same response. Not as impressed. Now I am to the point (cause I eat more than my fair share of Chick-fil-A) where when I hear “My pleasure”, it grates on me. What’s the difference? Sincerity. The problem is when the response is programmed and mandated, that’s what it sounds like. Is it really your pleasure or did someone make you say that because it’s in a manual some place?

I’m all about creating a culture of politeness in business. It kills me when I go to a store like Wal-Mart, spend tons of money and don’t even get a thank you from the cashier. I love the politeness at Chick-fil-A, but it has to be real. It makes me think at one point some employee responded to a thank you with “No problem” or “it’s all good” and someone got a bee in their bonnet and decided to create a uniform response and put it in a manual. When that happens, it’s stops being real and I stop caring.

If you’re a Chick-fil-A franchisee or manager, work on this, but this is clearly not only for Chick-fil-A. It’s really for anyone who is trying to communicate anything (and with the Gospel, it’s vital). If you’re not sincere, we can tell, so don’t bother. Instead, be real. Speak the truth in your own words and in love.

It’s been my pleasure to share these words with you… And I MEAN that!

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