When you walk into a Best Buy, or any store, do you expect to be greeted or welcomed into the store?

Would you even know if there was a difference? Well, whoever wrote the Best Buy training policies thinks that there is, according to this viral tweet.

Making a difference between welcoming and greeting is a ridiculous nit-picky thing that drives employees crazy. Karate's Bad Boy answered the true/false question ("We should greet all Best Buy customers") as true and got it wrong. The reason? "We welcome our customers, not greet them."

Now, there may have been a 15-minute presentation on why this is the case, but I don't know what it is. I contacted Best Buy over a week ago to find out and they did not respond, so I'm just going to have to assume that this screenshot is accurate. (If it is faked, I'd love Best Buy to speak up!)

Even if Best Buy has a whole training module on why welcoming is better than greeting, it's a ridiculous distinction and it drives a wedge between the corporate employees who make up training modules and the people who do the actual work. I can guarantee that Karate's Bad Boy isn't the only employee who rolled his eyes at this question.

This is not a problem limited to Best Buy. Have you ever had a policy pronounced by someone that worked in a desk job while you were standing on your feet all day? For instance, in college, I worked for Kmart as a cashier. We were required to wear dress shoes even though we stood behind counters at cash registers. No one saw our feet. Did it make me a better employee? Absolutely not.

What should companies do? Well, they should take a lesson from Humorist Dave Barry's presidential platform and institute a Department of Louise. Barry explains:

I would eliminate all giant federal departments - Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Exterior, etc. - and replace them with a single entity, called the Department of Louise. This would consist of a woman named Louise, selected on the basis of being a regular taxpaying individual with children and occasional car trouble and zero experience in government. The Department of Louise would have total veto power over everything. Before government officials could spend any money, they'd have to explain the reason to Louise and get her approval.

"Louise," they'd say, "we want to take several billion dollars away from the taxpayers and build a giant contraption in Texas so we can cause tiny invisible particles to whiz around and smash into each other and break into even tinier particles."

And Louise would say: "No."

Or the officials would say: "Louise, we want to use a half-million taxpayer dollars to restore the childhood home of Lawrence Welk."

And Louise would say: "No."

Or the officials would say: "Louise, we'd like to give the Syrians a couple million dollars to reward them for going almost a week without harboring a terrorist."

And Louise would say: "No."

Or the officials might say: "Louise, we want to . . ."

And Louise would say: "No."

All these decisions would have to be made before 5:30 p.m., because Louise would be very strict about picking her kids up at day care.

You need a Louise. Someone who would look at this question and say, "Oh you've got to be kidding." Someone whose job isn't dependent on coming up with new training modules. You need some common sense.

A Best Buy VP would say, "Louise, we're going to tell employees not to greet customers but to welcome them."

And Louise would say, "No. They mean the same thing."

Think of how different your corporate policies would be if you just had some common sense at play. 

Sometimes these things come about because people feel the need to give input to prove their worth. For example, people who will ask for changes from a designer just to show that they are involved, or people who disagree just to prove they have thought about things too. 

Finding common sense can seem hard, but I can guarantee that if you just ask your current employees who are doing the work, they will come up with ideas that actually work and that people on the internet won't mock. Because it doesn't matter if you "greet" or "welcome" people. What matters is that people feel like you're happy to have them in your store. 

Published on: May 26, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.