On a typical day, you’ll encounter a wide variety of people, performing many different roles.
- Susan, the perky red-haired Starbucks barista prepares your mocha latte just the way you like it.
- Joe, a distracted Jiffy Lube ‘mechanic’ changes your oil in the amount of time it takes to check your e-mail.
- Grassy Greens, your lawn care company, trims your lawn to a point where it just might be the envy of the neighborhood.
These services are too often ignored or taken for granted.
I need to reflect more and be gracious to the people who serve me on a daily basis. We could consider that these services are not ‘our right’, but more of a privilege worthy of sincere appreciation.
Some of these jobs may not be glamorous, yet this does not diminish their importance.
During a recent busy travel stretch, where airports blended together like one big revolving door, I overheard an older gentleman direct the following impulsive comment to an airport shuttle bus worker:
“I wouldn’t do your job for all the money in the world.”
If you were on the receiving end of this comment, how would this make you feel? Diminished? Disenfranchised? Irrelevant? Is all of the above a choice?
Perhaps this gentleman wanted to share a genuine comment about this person’s selfless job. Nothing embodies servant leadership more than lifting and pulling bags off and on a shuttle bus while cranked, harried travelers wonder: “Why is this taking so long?” and “I am going to miss my flight if this guy doesn’t hurry.”
Unfortunately, it didn’t come across this way. When the shuttle bus driver digested this insensitive comment, he froze, unable to muster a response. No doubt his day felt a little less meaningful after this episode. How much better would both of you feel if you added a genuine, friendly comment?
Words mean things. Let’s be careful about how we communicate with strangers. Not knowing people doesn’t give us the right to step all over them with malicious words.
Yours in civility….
Until next time,