So I went to buy a bicycle.
This is a character called Yehuda Moon from a cult internet cartoon strip. The character works in a bike shop. The man who served me also works in a bike shop. Not a coincidence.
The man who I saw clearly styled everything about him around bicycles.
I went to the bike shop to have a test ride on a bike I had been obsessing over online, I was going to work straight after so was in work shoes,pants, shirt etc i.e. not in special clothing. Something I don’t believe you need for an ordinary activity like riding a bike.
Mr Yehuda however thought differently, and clearly thought I was wasting his time. He was stroppy, indolent and off-hand.
In a shop I don’t demand to be treated like a member of the Gentry during the days of the Raj. But this man was looking down his nose, not at me, but this particular transaction. This piece of business was clearly below the man. I was just some guy buying a mid-range bike in “unsuitable clothing“.
I’m no expert but I know my way round a bike, just the basics but enough. This man lived and breathed bikes. More, he was a bike-snob. Therefore entirely the wrong person to work in a bike shop.
A lot of people who work in bike shops, music shops or clothes shops think they work in the bike business, the music business or the clothing business.
They are wrong.
They all work in the people business. They just don’t know they do.
The people business requires enthusiasm just as much as expertise, especially an enthusiasm for sharing that expertise. Expertise is about going deeper, enthusiasm is about going wider. Like this man said, hire for mind-set.