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The art of being different – a girl scout’s story

Girl scout cookie season is upon us, and recently our office was swarming with youngsters taking cookie orders. I wasn’t sure which girl I should order from (one can’t really order from each of them and expect to maintain any semblance of a normal BMI) and as I was considering how to choose, one energetic little girl simply walked right up to me and asked if I’d like some cookies.

She was slim and blonde, with bright eyes and an honest face. I knew the “sales pitch” didn’t come naturally to her, and I tried to make it easier by joking a bit. She was shy, but on a mission. I asked her which type of cookie she liked best, and if her daddy ate too many of them. She was innocently pleased with the interaction and disappeared down a hallway near some cubicles.

Many weeks later a large delivery of girl scout cookies arrived. There was a mass distribution strategy in place with moms and girls cutting open cardboard boxes of cookies and delivering them to buyers. I asked if my cookies were on the list. They told me that they didn’t sell me the cookies, so I’d need to wait for the specific little girl who sold them to me to stop by.

About a week later, when I had assumed that my little girl scout had forgotten about my order (and the rest of our staff had well and truly gorged themselves on thin mints), her dad came into my office with a pretty bag tied with a ribbon and a hand written card from his daughter. He told me she asked him to deliver it personally, because she wanted her service to be different than the other girls. Her dad joked that he was trying to train her about “differentiators” but I was quite touched by the effort she had made to make me feel like a special customer.

Later that afternoon I sat down to write a thank-you card to the girl. I wanted her to know that her efforts made a difference, and that I noticed her hard work in making my cookie purchase a personalized experience (not just part of a bulk delivery service). I put some stickers on the card, I used colorful paper, and a big red envelope.

A few days later I asked her dad if she liked the card. This is what he wrote to me:

“She loved it. She saw it at breakfast and came screaming upstairs to show it to everybody. Thanks!”

That really made my day. I hope in some way that I’ve encouraged this little girl to continue to reach for excellence, to stand out in the crowd, and to know that her work is appreciated. It is this sort of attitude toward life that will help her grow up to be… a revolutionary.

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.


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5 Responses to “The art of being different – a girl scout’s story”

  1. kelly says:

    Such a sweet (in more ways than one) story! It definitely differentiates your blog! :)

  2. earthling says:

    Val – I just love your blog! Every post is insightful and humorous. Next step – podcasting ;-)

  3. ValJonesMD says:

    Thanks everyone – I will do my best to keep the good thoughts flowing!

  4. wellth says:

    That was so kind of you to make the budding, blonde Revolutionary-in-training a fun card! I toast with you, and more Thin Mints than I will ever blog about, to the art of being D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T.

  5. Anonymous says:

    WOW THAT WAS THE BEST STORY , BESIDES WELLTH’S ARTICLES:) THAT I HAVE READ I REALLY , REALLY ENJOYED THAT STORY, IT WAS LIKE LOOKING AT A NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTING BUT WITH WORDS INSTEAD OF PAINT…. CHEERS AND COOKIES TO YOU!!!!!!

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