Growing up, we were taught to greet people in a friendly manner. A friendly greeting can really transform a person’s day. I remember vividly how special I felt as a child when I came to visit my mother’s best friend, my Tante Bashi. As I came through her door, she would exclaim. “Wow! What an important guest is here.” She would always make me feel ten feet tall.
In the local supermarket parking lot, there was an older man with a thick accent who had been hired to round up and return the shopping carts to their assigned place. He worked very hard through good and bad weather. He was there when I shopped early and he was there when I shopped late. He was always right there to take my shopping cart from me right after I unloaded the groceries into my car. He was reliable and hardworking.
And, he wore a white shirt and suit to work.
I was always intrigued by his choice of dress. Why would he choose to wear the clothing of an executive to perform such a menial job? Was it to show respect and appreciation for a job he cherished? Did his family think that he was the CEO of a company and he played the part? Was he auditioning for Undercover Boss?
I never had the nerve to ask him, but I always noticed him and admired his professionalism, both in dress and in action.
Whenever I would leave my car to enter the supermarket, I would greet him warmly. Whenever he would return my cart for me, I would thank him and wish him a good day. I wondered if anyone else acknowledged, greeted and thanked him.
One day, I was having a bad day. I parked my car at the supermarket and was lost in my thoughts. Without thinking, I reached for a shopping cart, when someone said, “Good morning. How are you? Is everything okay?” I snapped out of my thoughts and looked up. It was the shopping cart executive.
His greeting brightened my day.
The gift of a warm hello and bright smile really can transform someone’s world.