When I thought about writing this blog I’d come to one conclusion about what happened in the petrol station the other day. Now I’ve got two.

After I’d paid, the lady picked up the invoice (a short rectangled piece of paper), then took the original till receipt (a long, narrow piece of paper), stapled the two together and started to fold the receipt, in such a way that the bottom edge was flush with that of the invoice.

She gave me this work of art, smiled and said “So it looks nice.” I picked it up and started folding the thing slowly, with the same amount of care as she had, so that it would fit nicely in my wallet, making sure it was aesthetically pleasing.

When I realised what I was doing I was amazed because normally I just stuff these things in the wallet and that’s that.

My first conclusion is this: her high performance inspired me to high performance. The second conclusion has to do with Cialdini’s original work on the six principles of persuasion: the lady had given me a gift and I was reciprocating, unconsciously.

Of course, I will go back to that petrol station.

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