Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Many Small Thanksgivings

At Thanksgiving, it’s natural for us to be grateful for our family and friends—the loved ones in our lives.

But what about those people who touch us in small ways, throughout the year? I’m very grateful for those people—the people who make our lives brighter in little ways, every day.

Like our morning doorman, Danny. Danny is in his 80’s, and yet every morning he opens the door for us, and with a big smile on his face, says, “Good morning. How are you doing? Are you alright? Have a good day!” Every single weekday, without fail (unless he’s on vacation), he greets us cheerfully. It always makes our days brighter. I’m very grateful for Danny.

I’m grateful for the security guard at Walgreen’s, who always smiles at me and gives me a cart (and later returns it to the cart corral for me), and sometimes jokes around with me, saying stuff like, “Wow, you got done with your shopping fast today!”

I’m also grateful for the woman who stocks shelves at Walgreen’s (yes, I am a regular at Walgreen’s—can you tell?), who is always pleasant and helpful to me, even when I’ve asked her if she can “check in the back” for canned mushrooms or Diet Mountain Dew or skim milk for the third day in a row…and who even offered me some valuable advice once when I was having a really crappy day, telling me that she’s realized that things always work out better when you have a positive attitude.

I’m grateful for the old guy who works behind the counter at Quizno’s, who, when I couldn’t make up my mind about what I wanted to order, and then ended up spilling my soda all over the floor, was infinitely patient with me, and just smiled pleasantly and said, “It’s okay, just leave it, take another soda,” and wouldn’t even let me try to clean it up.

I’m grateful for the guys at Lake and Union Grill, who always greet me with a pleasant smile and make sure (without my even having to ask) that my chicken salad has no onions or olives on it. (I like onions, but I don’t want my coworkers to have to smell my onion breath. Olives are just plain disgusting.)

And I’m grateful for the very cheerful, friendly cashier at Arby’s, who is the very definition of excellent customer service. She is probably the friendliest, most personable and efficient fast food worker I’ve ever met. And if she’s bagging your order, you can be sure that it will always be 100% correct, and that you won’t be missing a Beef ‘N Cheddar sandwich or an order of curly fries when you get home. If someone else bags the order and they forget something, she’ll apologize up and down and give you a free order of fries. Whenever I walk into Arby’s and see her working behind the counter, I’m instantly happier.

People like this, even though they may not be solving all the world’s problems, they are making the world better, in their own little ways.

And I, for one, am very grateful for them.


Anonymous said...

Maybe we can gather up your awesome customer service people, along with the ones I routinely run into, put them all in a room ans get them to solve the health care crisis and tax issues with smiles on their faces and then everyone would be happy.

What a world it be!!

Anita said...

I love this post, and I love the thought process behind the small things. I might just have to use it myself.
I love when people notice the little things someone does for them.

Sling said...

Outstanding post Miss HP!
I'm thinkin' you tend to just bring out the very best in people.

Mom said...

A grateful heart is a wonderful thing.
It is good to know someone else thinks olives are disgusting.

Stephanie said...

What a great look at being thankful, Carla! I am thankful for the employees at Festival Foods who are ALWAYS cheerful and super helpful...they are always eager to help me even before I ask for it. And I'm thankful that Festival has the carts with little cars attached, because it keeps V endlessly entertained and allows me to shop peacefully with two kids ;) Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

sageweb said...

Great Post...Happy Turkey day!

rosemary said...

Right on....you are an amazing, thoughtful young woman. Blessings to you and Iwanski this Thanksgiving.

Random Thinker said...

It is so wonderful to run into such great people. I'm with Sling though. Most of these people see you on a regular basis so your awesome positive attitude has to be rubbing off on them too. And no wonder you put olives in Iwanski's Birthday bag, the poor man is deprived. Olives are the food of the gods.

Diane said...

Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that goes something like this... All the nothings mean more to me than all the somethings, so thanks (from the movie You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan) :)

Fantastic Forrest said...

Have you read Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed? There are so many people who work in low paying jobs who are treated poorly by others. My Dad always made a point to be friendly to people like the ones you describe, and his life was richer for it.

I've practiced the same thing, and am pleased to see my kids do it as well. Taking the time to talk to the grocery stock boy or making a joke to the register girl at Chipotle builds good will and sense of community.

I'll bet those people are also grateful for you, Miss Healthypants.