Friday, November 28, 2008

Why so serious?

I take a bit of pride in how I treat customers, and people in general, on a daily basis. At some point someone explained to me that often that we are often the only interaction a patient will have during the course of a day. Due to that, it’s a good idea to be pleasant and thoughtful when you are speaking with a person. Most of the other people I work with, well those who actually have a personality, have a difficult time to grasp this. I make it a point to ask a patient how they’re doing at least a half dozen times a day. Not only do some of the patients really enjoy it, it also develops a relationship with them so when there is an actual problem they can be far more understanding.

After a while this kind of progressed over into my daily life. I don’t care who you are, I’ll always smile and say hi to you when you’re in the store. You can be just picking up Tylenol or perhaps be in a wheel chair or maybe have suffered a stroke and are unable to talk and I’ll treat you the same as anyone else. I do this for everyone except for the asshole patients. I allot that people have bad days so I don’t hold it against them if one day they are snippy and they usually apologize at a future date to make up for it.

What I find fascinating, though, is the reaction of people in public. If you want to try an interesting experiment go to a mall and say hi to a little old woman as you’re walking buy. I guarantee she’ll grab her purse and run to the other side of the walk way. Just today I was at my fianc├ęs work and I said hi to a woman who was standing in an aisle and she just glared at me. How is it so impossible for someone to accept a hello or general politeness? I have never been able to fathom that and it makes you wonder what has happened to society as a whole that makes that the normal reaction?

I’m not going to stop saying hi or being polite to random strangers I meet because, in my mind, it’s just the thing to do. To show that there is some good in the world, despite what one sees on the television. Maybe that old adage ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ really is true..


The Ole' Apothecary said...

It depends upon where you live. Here in West Texas where I live, friendliness is the order of the day. It is even more true in northern Maine. I say it has to do with city vs. country. City people have an "us vs. them" mentality, while rural folks believe that "we're all in this together." Drive down any country road in Maine and you'll have strangers waving hello to you. It's the idea that we are all in the same boat there.

Phathead said...

That is true, I have lived in a very large Midwestern city and the people there were much friendlier then where I am currently. It's just strange to get a response like that.

Mallory said...

I smile at people. One lady got all upset and was going "I don't know you! Why are you smiling at me? I don't know you!"

People are strange.

Anonymous said...

Never change.