It’s Easier to be Nice

I was a very shy child, and I had a hard time talking to kids my age and adults.  I was also awkward socially.  Shy and awkward, not a winning combination.  Because of this, or in spite of it, I tend to be one of those friendly people willing to talk to you anywhere I am.  Oldest One has commented on how I can have a conversation with a complete stranger in a line, and how she wouldn’t want to.  One day I’ll remind her of those words after she is done talking to the person in line in front of her at the grocery store.

I think the world is a better place when we smile and say hi to each other.  There are plenty of people I don’t know at work, but anyone I see when I’m walking between buildings gets a smile and a “hi”.  I always get the same back.  I’m not known for my anger, or negativity, or for being a difficult person to work with (thankfully).  I’m known for being friendly and smiling a lot, and for sometimes being too chatty.  I’m working on the chatty thing.

My Mom is known for being incredibly rude and nasty to anyone in a customer service position who gets the misfortune of having to deal with her.  She acts like she is better than someone assisting her, and as if they are the scum of the earth well below her notice.  She even gets a pinched look on her angry face.  I’ve pretty much apologized to any service person helping us when I’ve been along.  I know you can’t be responsible for someone else’s behavior, but it can sure be apologized for.  My Mom hates tipping, and doesn’t tip enough.  She also berates people, and complains about everything.

Little One tells the story of my Mom taking her and Oldest One out to breakfast one morning, where Little One ordered pancakes.  When the plate came the pancakes were huge, and Little One couldn’t finish all of them.  My Mom proceeded to yell at the waitress for not specifying how big the pancakes were and allowing a child to order them.  The girls have quite a few stories like this, and so do I.

I don’t care what a person does for a job.  I care about if the person is good on the inside.  Customer service jobs are difficult, and people are mean.  Husband and I always tip well for good service, and are as friendly as we can be.  There is no reason to be mean to others, and if the service is bad we’ll live through it, and not tip as well.  That rarely happens, and we enjoy talking to all the different people we meet.  I’ve been known to get exasperated while on the phone trying to get things done, but I do try hard to tell the person I’m not mad at them, I’m just irritated with the company, and apologize when I should.

Being angry and mean takes a lot out of me.  It’s stressful to hate everything the people around you are doing, and to yell at them for it.  I think your food would get spit in a lot also.  For me smiling and saying hello really does make for a better day, so it is something I’m going to continue to do, and enjoy.

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One comment on “It’s Easier to be Nice

  1. So true – I often chat with people at the deli or in line, if they seem open to chatting. It’s a much happier world when people do that. But I do have my days when I don’t feel like chumming it up, and that’s when I prefer to go it alone! I guess it’s just a matter of balance.

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