Make me feel like a genius!

January 22, 2007          Comments (4)

This post is inspired by a true story. It happened to me last Saturday morning when I was on the LIRR all excited to get my stitches removed.

I was sitting on the 2 seat side. And next to me, on the 3 seat side, were your typical grandparents from Florida. I over heard them talking about how they couldn’t wait to get back to Florida. I’m not nosy. See the cute, wrinkly, old couple, was very hard of hearing.

I was sitting there entrenched in the book I was reading, finishing up my Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat bread. But, as I was crunching down on my pickle (love a good crunchy pickle) waiting for the train to start, some guy in a big trench coat…

(You know how on most trains they have the metal things on the back of the seat in front of you to keep your ticket. Well, some people put their tickets in the metal thing before the train starts even moving.)

…was walking down the aisles and evidently stealing unused train tickets if the people weren’t paying attention. Most people are paying attention to their book, newspaper, conversation or pickle. On this day, Grandpa had his ticket up in the metal holder. Luckily, I didn’t.

Grandpa, who appeared to be reading the paper, some how, noticed this clever crook take his unused ticket in the metal thing. As the crook was briskly walking away Grandpa immediately gets up and runs up to the crook and screams, “Hey! Give me my ticket back!”

Remember, Grandpa is hard of hearing. While every person on that car almost had a heart attack because of how loud he was, the crook was stunned. He was shocked that Grandpa had noticed. In a split second the crook decided to give Grandpa back his ticket and run off the train.

Grandpa, in his cute Grandpa outfit, walked back feeling and looking like he was on top of the world. “That sun of a gun was going to steal our tickets!” Everyone quickly realized what just happened as they saw the brief but LOUD confrontation. The crook wasn’t able to steal tickets on our particular car because Mr. Grandpa was in the way.

Worried Grandma asked Grandpa, “Hun, hun. What happened? Are you okay?” Grandpa says, “Yeah, it’s okay now! That bastard was trying to steal tickets! But I stopped him! Good thing I noticed!”

Everyone applauded Grandpa on the train. And he ate it up. Smiling and smirking he couldn’t get enough of it. Remember – Grandpa and Grandma are hard of hearing so everything they say, 3 rows of seats in either way, can hear them.

30 minutes in to the train ride, Grandma looks at Grandpa who is very fidgety and says, “Hun! What’s the matter? Are you okay?” Old Man Grandpa says, “Yes. Yes. Ya know, maybe, I should’ve punched that sucker out!”

I almost fell off of my chair when I heard that.

Old Man Grandpa was on top of the world and felt like a genius because he caught that Sun of a gun! No one gets by Grandpa. But Grandpa can’t punch anyone.

With the way he felt, maybe he could’ve.

Moral of the story:

Don’t leave your tickets in those metal things anymore.

And if you can make your customer feel like a genius, you win!

For example, Home Depot had a great commercial with a guy hanging up a picture frame and after hammering in the nail, he says, “Man, I’m some sort of home improvement genius!”

Google won because there were early internet users and late adopters. The late adopters at some point decided and realized that the internet was here to stay and had to learn what it was all about. My grandma would ask me, “How do I find something?”

“What do you mean Grandma?”

“I want to look for different things on the web,” she’d reply.

“Grandma, type in your web browser. At the very top of your screen. Replace the with and then hit enter on your keyboard. Then, type in whatever your heart desires in to Google. See that space to type things in?”

5 minutes later I’d always get the, “Adam, you’re a computer genius!”

Now, who doesn’t like to feel like a genius?

So, what did Grandma do?…wait for it…yup, she told all of her friends about Google. And just like that it spread. Why? Because my Grandma was now going to be the new computer genius in sunny Florida.

Make your customer feel powerful, smart, influential or like an expert, and you win. And who doesn’t like to win (besides the Patriots)?


(Her eyes. You know.)

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  1. Lol great story and great moral – I love your writing! Keep it up mate.

    Comment by Adnan — January 22, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  2. I second that, :).

    Comment by Rohail — January 22, 2007 @ 12:46 pm

  3. Thanks guys. I really appreciate it!


    Comment by Adam Gilbert — January 22, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  4. […] Interesting. I wonder if my Grandma will be able to listen? […]

    Pingback by Guru Gilbert » All I need is One Mic: Radio Interview on Saturday — February 15, 2008 @ 10:19 am

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