I was shipping some copies of my book at a local post office yesterday. The lady who helped me was someone I recognized from frequent visits to this office, but have never had any conversation with outside of a greeting and good-bye. In all honesty, she has never struck me as the most welcoming person, but is certainly knowledgable and helpful each time I visit, which I always genuinely appreciate. I’ve never really thought much of our interactions until she asked me out of the blue, “Are you a born-again?” I replied with a smile and simply said, “No”. She continued, “You’re always extremely polite and very kind when you come in here; I thought you had to be a born-again or maybe in the military or something.” I replied back saying, “I appreciate you saying that, but neither apply to me.” We talked for a brief moment before I went on my way and as always, I thanked her for her continued help and wished her a great day.
As I walked out, I couldn’t help but recall the many times where I’ve visited that post office and hear rude, demeaning complaints to the people behind the service counter. Many times it is over lost packages, high shipping costs or something else that has nothing to do with the people whom the complaints are being directed toward. Other times, people walk in and walk out without saying a single word to the person behind the desk. I’m guessing those type of interactions probably have become normal for their staff, so when someone consistently offers a simple form of appreciation or recognition, I can imagine that it stands out. Is it so rare, however, that someone doesn’t think that you can be a regular person who genuinely appreciates the service you’ve provided? If that’s the case, I have to admit that’s sad.
I do my best to be kind, considerate, and appreciative to people who serve me regardless if it’s their job or not. I just strongly believe it’s the right thing to do; I’m thankful for my parents and a couple of low-paying, low-recognition jobs for that lesson. Like all of us, I’m imperfect at times, or as that moment proved, am unaware of many of my interactions (good or bad). That moment also showed me that we all can be better. There’s value in our standard daily interactions. Take ten seconds to show a genuine, sincere form of appreciation to people who help you out. It might be the grocery clerk, the waitress, the customer service representative, or the president of your company. Everyone on this planet wants to be acknowledged and recognized and it doesn’t take much for all of us to act accordingly. We never know when something we say, do, or an interaction we have can make an impact on somebody else’s day, week, month, or life!