Day 297: Smile a while

monalisacartoonThought I’d get back to basics today and try a kinder, gentler approach with the strangers I encounter in the course of a day.

A colleague reminded me of the difference a simple smile can make (thanks, Renée!). So that’s what I tried to do more of today.

My bus driver was my first victim, um, smile recipient.

I bid him a warm “good morning” when I boarded and he smiled and nodded in return. I tried to look him in the eye when I greeted him (amazing what a difference that can make) but he was wearing cool-dude reflective sunglasses, so I couldn’t connect with his pupils — it did give me a chance to check my hair, however. 🙂

Just when I thought I was on a roll, smiling my way through the day, feeling pretty pleased with myself, I hit a roadblock. A roadblock in the form of a stoney-faced Shopper’s Drug Mart cashier. None of my sparkling “Hi, how are you?,” “Busy today?” or “Have a good day” banter was cutting it with this woman.

She either (a) hated her job with a passion, (b) hated someone who looked just like me with a passion, or (c) had found a winning lottery ticket the day after it expired. In any case, I tried.

Next target was the overworked, underpaid Korean lady at the lunch counter I stop in at from time to time. It amazes me how this pint-sized lady — so pint-sized she can barely see over the counter — keeps up with the lunch-rush frenzy without blowing a gasket.

I came in as the rush was thinning out, caught her eye and thanked her for her great service — with a smile, of course. (That one came naturally because she has one of those cherub faces you can’t help but smile at.)

When I said, “Have a nice afternoon,” she actually stopped for a second (didn’t know she could) really looked at me, smiled back and said, “You too.” We had a moment.

Guess if you string enough of those together, you get a pretty smiley life….

P.S. This is for anyone out there who’s celebrating a birthday. The video quality is poor but I thought this was still pretty cool. Watch the face of the big security guard standing behind. What a smile. Enjoy!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Day 297: Smile a while

  1. refnaf

    In my day to day with customers at my work , I have found that peeps are kinda surprised when (and if) I actually look them in the eye and say have a great day. Getting that eye to eye is difficult sometimes, I suppose because of the coldness people are used to in their shopping experiences, and sometimes I just don’t have the energy, but when I do… I get folks actually engaging in conversation on a deeper level, very cool!

  2. Wow, that is cool, Refnaf. And it’s interesting to hear what it’s like from your perspective, especially with all the customers you see in a day.

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