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The author’s recent shopping experience in New York City is chronicled. Suffice it to say, she did not have a positive experience and has advice to offer for improving service to customers. The problems Ms. Barrows encountered speak to the importance of individual behavior in the workplace.


  1. Why is job satisfaction important? If you have retail experience, describe the variety of customers/customer demands that you experience. How might these different interactions influence job satisfaction? What is the best way to ensure employee engagement in jobs that require high levels of customer contact?
  2. Two related, but different, retail stores. One sells lingerie; the other sells men’s hats. Both stores are staffed by male employees. Is there any reason to believe that job involvement might be an issue in either situation? What about organizational commitment? Discuss the reasons for your answers.
  3. What role does emotion play in the way we work? Comment on the emotional intelligence of the two salespeople based on the brief exchange with Ms. Barrows and her companion. What factors might influence their responses? As you imagine possibilities, discuss how you would handle similar situations.

SOURCE: S. Barrows, “Please Don’t Squeeze the Lingerie,” Globe and Mail (Retrievable online at

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