I returned an item at Dick’s and the cashier noted that there was a coupon attached to my receipt, providing me $20 off a $100 purchase. I thought I would give it to my sports-crazed nephew, who undoubtedly spends that amount with regularity — but then I noticed that the coupon was “valid for 3 hours.” Seriously?

My mind immediately flashed to yesterday’s dot (#3688) about stupid rules, but my second thought was “well, at least I’ll get a dot out of it.” I have found that aggravating situations often have lessons buried in them, helping me clearly see what not to do. People often say they learn supervision by doing everything opposite from what their bad boss did; the same principle applies to service situations. If you find something ridiculous, chances are your employees or customers will, too.

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