There is a Panera Bread near my office that I’ll visit for lunch occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. I’ve always enjoyed Panera Bread, especially that Broccoli Cheese soup, but I love going to this Panera Bread. The reason I love going to this specific Panera Bread has nothing to do with the food or the restaurant itself though. You see, there is nothing about this Panera Bread that makes it any different from any of the other hundreds of Panera Breads all over the country…except for Nick Pickle.
Who is Nick Pickle you ask? Well, he just so happens to be one of the coolest, most genuine guys I’ve ever met. Nick has worked at Panera Bread for several years, much longer than I’ve been going in there. He is quick to greet you as you walk in the door and quick to make sure you know EVERYTHING there is to know about what you’re ordering. He wants to help you get what you want, exactly the way you want it.
The best thing about Nick Pickle? He doesn’t just want to know what you’d like to eat, he wants to know how your day is going…he wants to know how your week is going, he wants to get to know you. Every single time I go in there, he strikes up an honestly genuine conversation with me. He carries on the conversation by asking questions about me and offering information about himself. He is simply a nice guy who loves people (and Panera Bread).
Why am I telling you about Nick Pickle? Because we can all learn from Nick Pickle. I sincerely doubt that every one of Nick’s days goes exactly how he planned or hoped. I sincerely doubt that bad things never happen to him. And I know for a fact from having watched it happen, that people are sometimes mean to Nick…but there he is, always greeting people with a smile, always offering advice and suggestions, always conversing with each guest as if they were old friends.
Nick shared with me one time that his goal is for everyone he meets to be a little happier after they’ve met him than before. You don’t always know who you will encounter or where you will encounter them; but with the right attitude, you can always be sure that they leave your company better than when they met you. Be a Nick Pickle.