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Few of the blogs I write get a more positive response from readers than the features about exceptional service provided by teammates like Darnell the Mover, The Flying Lullaby, or Amy the Balloon Lady. I cross paths with these types of “good teammates” all the time, but it has been a while since I featured one in an edition of Teammate Tuesdays.

Saturday, I had an encounter with an employee at Walgreens that’s worth sharing.

I was struggling with the store’s photo kiosk and couldn’t get my order to print. From behind the counter, a friendly employee named Caroline emerged to offer her assistance. Bear in mind, I didn’t signal for help or push any help buttons, Caroline noticed me struggling and approached me—and I’m glad she did.

I needed some photos printed for a meeting I had that afternoon and was willing to pay the higher price for the expedited service. Caroline immediately unchecked the expedited option on the screen and selected instead the less expensive one-hour option. I tried to explain to her that I couldn’t wait an hour for the photos, I needed them now.

She said the one-hour option would save me some money and that she was going to print my photos right away, so I wouldn’t have to wait an hour.

I thought to myself, “Wow! That was nice of her. She didn’t have to do that. Caring about saving customers money isn’t the typical way business is done.”

I waited at the counter while my order printed, and Caroline’s smile caught my attention. She had a smile on her face the entire time she worked. Her smile was inspiring. When my photos finished, Caroline brought them to the register. I thanked her for her expediency and for saving me money. She smiled more.

As Caroline tallied up my order, her smile transitioned to a look of concern. I glanced at the total on the register and realized how much she had saved me by changing my order to the less expensive option. I was afraid she had come to the same realization and was worried about getting in trouble with her bosses.

I started to tell her to not worry about the discount. Although I appreciated the gesture, I didn’t mind paying the higher price. But before I could get the words out of my mouth, Caroline said, “We can do better than this.” She hurried down to the other end of the counter, shuffled through a stack of newspapers, and returned with a coupon.

Caroline scanned the coupon into the register and my total dropped even further.

Some would argue that Caroline was costing her employer money and therefore wasn’t being a good teammate. That perspective, however, would be rather shortsighted. After what she just did for me and how she made me feel, do you think there’s a chance I will ever choose to get my photos printed from anywhere other than Walgreens? No chance!

Caroline’s caring gesture built loyalty with me and I am now happily sharing the positive experience I had with everyone who reads this post.

My favorite part of the encounter with Caroline happened after I paid for my photos. I told her the service she provided was too special not to be recognized and asked to take her photo. I’ve met enough good teammates to not be surprised by her response, yet I still was.

Caroline said, “Oh, you can just fill out the survey on your receipt. Those help our store.”

If you’ve read The WE Gear, you already know what I’m going to point out. Caroline wasn’t focused on herself. She was thinking about her team. We can do better than that. Those help our store.

Walgreens has a genuine asset in Caroline. She is exactly the type of compassionate employee—teammate—who makes teamwork happen and why teams succeed. If you’ve got teammates like her on your team, make sure you value their presence and thank them for what they do.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

Lance Loya is the founder and CEO of the Good Teammate Factory. He is a college basketball coach turned author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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