Monday, April 7, 2014
Saturday evening, I went out to Mongolian BBQ with one of my daughters, stopping at a place that I visit once a week. As I was paying, the man who runs the cash register remarked, "You're always so chipper when you come in here."
Not sure if that was being considered a good thing or a bad thing, I offered, "I'm.... sorry?"
"No, no!" he rushed to assure me. "It's good... I could use some good positive karma. Most people who come in are so grumpy!"
After dinner, we stopped at Qdoba to pick up dinner for the rest of the family waiting at home. Now, usually, Qdoba is our family Saturday night dinner, so over the past several months, I've gotten pretty chatty with the guys who work there. The 5-10 minutes I see them every week are a good part of my week.
This week, I walked in and the young manager (who is probably older, but looks like he's about 16 years old) shook his head at me and said, "The people responsible for taking in your clothes must be busy all the time!" -- which made me smile.
The cash register was slow this weekend, and the cash register guy was apologizing for the time it was taking, but I just laughed, "Oh, it's just me. Don't worry, I'm not in a hurry!" When we were done, I wished them a good week and went on my way.
Sunday, after church, I took the daughters I had with me out to eat at Panera ( lol this was an eat-out intensive weekend, wasn't it?). When we walked in, this guy who works there was over behind the smoothie counter. (He loves me.) I haven't seen him for the past several times we've been there. But he waved with a big smile and rushed over to a cash register, frantically beckoning at me to come to his before someone else jumped in front of us in line.
During the course of the whole ordering schpiel, he said, "I just love it when you come in. You're so happy and it makes my day so much better. And you look beautiful today!"
As I sat curled up in the comfy chair with a notepad on my lap, my favorite Saturday morning guy came into the store to start his Sunday afternoon shift and stopped short when he saw me in the store. "Hey! You're here! We missed you yesterday!"
I'm only there once a week, guys...
What's the point of all those stories?
This is what I believe. We all have stuff that makes us grumpy or not pay attention to other people. So do I... I get entangled in my issues. I haven't gotten enough sleep. I'm late to whatever appointment I'm headed to. My kids were especially teenager-y that morning.
But, that's not the fault of the people who work at the places I frequent, and I don't understand being grumpy at those people. They're just doing their jobs. And it doesn't take much for me to smile, and to ask them if they're having a good day. It doesn't take much to see how they are, or... really... just to smile.
What I've learned is that a genuine friendly smile, when they're not expecting one, makes you memorable. It makes you the person that brightens up the room, and the person that people are glad to see.
But, mostly... it makes you the person who made a positive impact on someone. It makes you the thing that can make them smile more genuinely at the person who is behind you.
So, as you go about the rest of your Monday today... or whatever day it is when you're reading this, smile. Find one person to smile at. You might be surprised at how they react to you.