'Seventy-two euros and eighty' echoes Hans from behind the counter. The words find their way through the stacks of cigar boxes to the farthest corner of his shop. There is the ATM and Ivar is sitting there, chatting with me, both in a soft leather armchair.
Ivar jumps up, walks over to the machine, starts tapping it fanatically and calls back enthusiastically, "one hundred and seventy-two euros and eighty?" Enjoying from my luxurious seat I watch this repetitive heart-warming 4D spectacle that I am a part of. Everyone who passes me walks with a big smile to the ATM, on their way to have money debited from their account. They still have to walk a bit for it. What is the secret of this store? How is it possible that customers, young and old, enjoy bringing their money here? I haven't been to Hans' store in months. As I step in, Hans sees me, stops what he's doing, walks over to me, extends his hand gracefully, looks at me and asks, "How are you and would you like a cigar with that?"
Within a few minutes the three of us are talking, enjoying a cigar and a cup of coffee, philosophizing about the essence of life. "Shall we have a nice glass of Grappa with that cigar and our nice conversation?" Ivar asks invitingly.
Two hours later after we have shared our view on current political developments, I get up, walk to the counter and say to Hans, 'Just give me a box of those cigars I just smoked'. Hans echoes from behind his counter towards the ATM, 'fifty-two euros fifty.'
Ivar jumps up from his chair, taps angrily on the machine and asks in a loud, laughing voice, 'one hundred and fifty-two euros fifty?' I pay the bill more than happy. A store where every customer is seen and heard without procedures and protocols. Straight from the heart, with a joke and a joke. And that cigar? It didn't come from its own box, service from the company!