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Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Beard

8pm Friday 25th February in a Manchester City Centre bar, waiting nervously*
The barman recognised me and asked if I wanted a shot of 'BISON VODKA', I didn't, however I said yes, just shocked at how a random barman remembered me, I hadn't been to this bar for almost 4 months!! and it was indeed the Vodka I drank when I was last there.
One warming shot down and I ordered a Chenin Blanc, to which the barman said 'you normally drink Red', true enough the last time I was there, indeed I was drinking Red, the Chenin Blanc is just a funny phase I'm going through*
So the point is, however this random Barman remembered me it already achieved three significant things.
1. I drank a shot I would not have ordered (that was good for the bar)
2. The conversation put me at ease
3. I'm more likely to return, compared to a place that (which is usually the case), has obnoxious bar staff who couldn't give a damn.

Anyway, I sat there waiting and watching him interact with other Customers, to my amazement, he said to a hirsute bloke who was waiting to be served 'nice beard' ??????? To my mind a fairly strange opening line from one man to another, the body language* of the bearded bloke clearly suggested he was immediately uncomfortable, this included an unlikely exchange of words, which the barman concluded by saying 'I'm 31 and at my age I can't grow a beard like that, I wish I could', the bearded bloke went and sat down, again with body language suggesting he was uncomfortable.

How can one man (the Barman), innocently make one person extremely comfortable (ME) and another (Beardo), so uncomfortable, without any rudeness whatsoever. Just his choice of WORDS.

The point of this story is two fold.......

1. It was at that point I decided it was time to BLOG (for the first time EVER) - because to me an innocent exchange of words with three people in less than five minutes, said so much. There are signs and opportunities to learn with EVERYTHING we experience - not just from reading books and listening to motivational DVDs* - I can't really explain why it was time for me to blog, except I've been thinking of blogging for sometime now (in particular since I had a conversation with Lee Henshaw, a leader in the company I work for - Kleeneze*) - this weird conversation in a random Manchester bar, became (albeit ODD), my motive to write.

2. I can't help but think about COMMUNICATION* and how POWERFUL it is, just based on my simple, random experience last night. Powerful in a positive way and also in a negative way - CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY!! In most cases we have just a matter of seconds to make the right impression with someone or leave them feeling uncomfortable with totally the wrong expression.

As for Beardo, he will probably never go to that bar again and probably shave more often.
The Barman remains oblivious*
Me, I'm now BLOGGING!!!


PS. Anywhere there is an asterisk (*), is a story for another day.


  1. That is so true MK, it is very strange how one person can communicate in a friendly way but equally get 2 separate reactions.

  2. Great blog! Your *'s have left me curious for the next blog entry....! :)

  3. fantastic, will be reading your blogs and musing on them.

  4. So true Michael. It makes us all aware of the questions we should be asking ourselves as Kleeneze Distributors. Are we giving the 1st impressions we want to give our customers & our prospects? After all: "you never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression" RH ;-)