It makes a huge difference to just have it, to have the spark, that amazing ability to just radiate positivity. Not only is it an extremely attractive trait in potential significant others, but it can brighten your day just the same by any person -- whether you're at work, out in the neighborhood, or dealing with anything consumer related. Let me elaborate, since you're probably wondering, why talk about something so trivial...
When I'm living down south for school, I find the amount of friendly interaction a bit disconcerting. It's almost intrusive... maybe I just want to buy my groceries and get out of the store, eh? There's a reason I always go to the self-checkout... (side note: best. invention. ever.) And it's not that I'm so much anti-social as I just want to be able to get lost in my thoughts and mind my own business. I have enough problems without having to explain my entire life to someone I don't know and will most likely never see again.
However, there is a certain amount of excitement and flair that a simply polite and genuinely nice person can bring to a day. Well, my day in particular. On Memorial Day I played golf with a buddy early in the morning, and we of course had to make a stop at Wawa on the way there. For those of you who don't know what Wawa is... well, you haven't truly lived yet. It's only the best convenience store in the world. Seriously. I'd bet money on it. Well, we walked in, probably one of the first few customers of the day. At the register, the lady working flashed me a pleasant smile, and told me to just have a great morning. Well, it worked! I most certainly did -- and she was a part of it.
I have a very high standard for waiters and waitresses, since I work at the country club and know what our people have to go through to make sure they are up to par to serve the members. I may have mentioned that before, but just a refresher... Well, people who work as a server have one of the hardest jobs ever. There's a lot of guesswork -- and your attitude makes a huge difference. You have to be attentive, but not annoying. You must be present at the right times, but not clingy. You have to be helpful and answer questions, but not interrupt your customers. You need to be knowledgeable of the food and the drinks and how they should be combined. You even need to know how long it takes to cook so you can aid your customers in their expectations of how long it will take to get their food. Most of all, you should contribute to a positive experience for your customers at whatever joint you're working at.
My point is -- a good waiter can make your experience, and a bad one can break it. It's nowhere near as simple as just serving food. I've had an entire night ruined just from the server being a poophead about everything, mumbling and not being there when you need something. And oh, I make sure it's known when I leave the tip... if I leave anything. The thing is, if you're a good server, I have no problem being generous. They should be rewarded for the effort that they put in to make sure I was alright. I'll tip up to 30% if they're good... but if they're bad, I'll go as low as nothing. You gotta earn your wages kid!
Something was a little off today in my mind, and I couldn't put my finger on what it was. I just wasn't in the greatest of moods. And while I sort of moped around work doing my best to keep to myself and just ignore people for the most part (employees, not members...) I could almost read the faces of those I sorta blew off. And I realized it makes a difference. There's a reason everyone always asks me where Dan is (another guy who works in maintenance...) He's always up to chat. Always got a smile on his face, even when he's having a shitty day. And even if he's complaining, he'll do it in an entertaining way. There's no one forcing you to be miserable at work... and I have people I definitely prefer chatting with to others. But that's no reason I can't say hey to everyone. Maybe that'll change things a bit for them, and for me. Experiment time? Perhaps.
One more thing about charisma... Now, regardless of your political views (because honestly I couldn't care less... it doesn't matter in the end, you're choosing the least of the evils, politicians all suck) you got to admit that President Obama has some great charisma. So much so, that we analyzed one of his campaign speeches while I was in high school. I have to say, I was impressed. The delivery was perfect, the words were perfect, the pauses were well placed. And well, it was inspirational. I dig that kinda stuff.
So whether you're trying to improve an entire country, or just the day of a random stranger, maybe we need to check ourselves each morning... and make sure you can put on a happy face for a little bit that day. It might very well be completely worth it later on.