Wednesday, November 21, 2012

because black friday is coming

me and Maggie in Salt Lake City, Utah- circa, 1994
There is always something that we can learn from someone. Something new, something different. Something that we would think we could never do, but did. There is not one person in this world who is the same...not one, and I love that. I love learning new things from different people, and being inspired by someone else's idea. I love different. I love getting out of my comfort zone. I love how those differences help us learn from one another, and on this specific day I learned something very special, and so unique from my friend Maggie in which I never thought I could do, and did.

I've known Maggie for half of my life. We are so different yet so much alike. We both converted to the same church back in 1992, and who would have known that we'd both be living in the same state...again. This time with families of our own! Well...I am extremely grateful that I moved up here because there are so many, many things that I have learned from her.

One being tripling my compassion for others no matter how harsh they can be, and to be even more fearless in saying something that can be life changing for someone. Especially when it comes to the retail, and fast food business.

And if you live on the east coast...toll booths.

As we were on our way to the temple a few weeks ago every toll we took Maggie would greet the the toll worker. Now...many of us don't do that here. Some of us have an EZ pass in which you just drive straight through the Ez pass lane, or you go through the cash lane, pay the toll worker, say thank you, and be on your way.

Well Maggie greeted every single toll worker going and coming home...every single one! If any of you are familiar with going through tolls on a daily basis some of these toll workers can be somewhat unpleasant.

Maggie would greet them by saying, "How are you today?" and actually start a conversation with them!  Some would pause, and give her a weird look, and say "I'm doing alright."I would think people just want them to get through the toll booth and leave! Some of these tolls range from four to six dollars, and I noticed that she would deliberately pull out large bills instead of the exact amount. That gave her the opportunity to have time to say her little quote in the end, "thanks for working hard for me!" while they are giving back her change. You can imagine the look on the toll workers face when she uttered those words. It put a HUGE smile on their face, and I know it made their day!

Well, I have now been doing that for a while now!

The first time was last month when we attended an open house with our oldest daughter at Fordham University. There were so many kids with their parents, and the ones that helped with the luncheon were current students. As I stood in line I had at least 10 people in front of me, and let me tell you...not one of them said "thank you." I felt bad for the kids who were working, and didn't let the rudeness of people get to me.

When it was my turn to get my plate I looked at the young boy serving me, and I said to him, "thank you, thank you so much for working hard for me today."

His countenance changed! My daughter who was right behind me told me that he said to her, "she sure made my day." Sierra was so happy that I made that kid happy. That's when I told her that it's so important to acknowledge those who take the time out of their day to serve us in the work place.

Then recently I went to a nearby McDonald's. I went through the drive thru and requested to have no salt on my fries, and the drive thru girl told me to park to the side, and wait. I waited for a few minutes, and from my rear view mirror I see the man bringing them out. I noticed he was a little older than me with his name tag that said "manager". He wasn't smiling. At all. I felt bad, and when I said to him "thanks for working hard for me" he chuckled so loud, and said "no have a good day honey."

It was genuine folks, and it felt great knowing that I made his day.

I remember how it used to be working retail, and in the food industry and I myself would be ornery sometimes. Knowing that I'm on the other side helping those who work feel appreciated puts a smile on my face.

With the holidays approaching, as well as "black Friday" there will be many of us who will get caught in the hustle and bustle. I encourage you to find it in your heart to utter those words, "Thanks for working hard for me" as they hand you the receipt. A simple "thank you" will suffice too!

I guarantee you not only will it make their day, but THEIR ENTIRE YEAR!

After all...they will be working until midnight for you.

Just ask my better half...he'll be one of those on the other side of the counter.

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