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~~~ Tidbit of Information: Who Signs Your Paycheck? ~~~


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Tidbit of Information: Who Signs Your Paycheck?

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This Tidbit of Information written on June 28, 2003 and Copyright 2003 by Bobby Matherne.

Who Signs Your Paycheck?

Somebody signs your paycheck. Have you ever met that person? Would you know it if that person were standing in front of you talking to you? How would you know if it were happening? Would you be nice to that person? Would you be grateful? Maybe even thank them? Next time you get your paycheck, look at the name of the person who signed it. Find a photo of that person or arrange to meet them in person. Now consider this: How does that person get the money which goes into your paycheck? Who does that money come from? Where does the money come from to pay you? From the company's customers. Every time they buy a product or service from your company, every time they sign a check or a credit card receipt to pay for a product or service the customers are in effect signing your paycheck!


I learned this on June 26, 2003 when I was in Office Depot. I had bought some items and went to the customer service counter to check out as there was little traffic on a Wednesday morning.

Two female clerks were talking. The credit card reader had just been replaced from one on another cash register.

Clerk A who had replaced the card reader said, “They give us the worst equipment to work with.” pointing to the cash register setup.

I said, “Yes, but you do have the best customers in the world.” thinking of myself, after all, I was there in front of them buying something and getting ready to help pay their salaries.

Clerk B, who was actually behind the cash register and across the counter from Clerk A, said, “Oh, we do?” with a tone of incredulity that should have been reserved for her coffee break among her co-workers rather than expressed in front of a customer, “You have to put that in writing.”

Continuing the point I had been trying to make, I said, “I will, when I pay for my purchase.” After all, the best customers are the ones who buy something and then actually pay for it!

The two clerks mumbled something about how I should write to their bosses and tell them how good a clerk they both are. But that was the furthest thing from my mind as both of them had spent time in front of me complaining about the company I chose to do business with on that day, and both had completely missed my point.They had done nothing to deserve my praise. And I knew that I signed their paychecks. But as most people do, when they miss your point, they never come back to it or ask for help in finding it. They had wandered so far in their own direction, they continued into their own Never-Never Land.

The card swipe mechanism Clerk A had just replaced didn’t work, but instead of taking the feedback that it was not the swipe mechanism that had the problem, but something in the register, she kept grumbling about how bad the equipment they gave them to work with was. Clerk B gave me the receipt to sign and as I signed it, I said confidently, “There, I put it in writing?”

Clerk B said, “Oh, you did?” again with an air of what’dya mean? Letting me know she still didn’t get it.

“Yes, I signed your paycheck.”

I left without having them understand a single thing that happened. They complained about the equipment they have to work with in front of the person who signs their paycheck. Their comments could keep that person from returning to their store to sign future paychecks, and then they'd have to find another job. But wherever they go, they will always find out, if they track it down, that the customer, when they sign their check or sign the credit card receipt is, in effect, signing their paycheck.

In every business, it is the customer who signs the paychecks for all the employees. And in successful businesses all the employees treat the customers like the person who signs their paycheck. Because they are.

In the end, it is the customer who signs the paycheck.

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