Monday, 07 November 2016 05:16

Do it in your local community

For 7 years I used to take my dry cleaning to this little shop owned by an older Russian couple.  They did a faultless job.  Whenever customers walked in the door she was full of sweet shy smiles. He was not.
 
When a customer would walk in, he would often keep his eyes down and say ‘Yes?!  He would expect you to let him know what you needed and by when.  He answered the phone with a Yes.  When customer thanked him, he would respond with an ‘Ok’.
 
This might help give you a visual.

He was a tough nut to crack.  Whilst many would say he was rude and grumpy, I decided to make him my mission.  I was going to ‘out nice him’ until he cracked.  Until he smiled or asked me how I was.
 
So every time I walked in the door I would practically sing a ‘Hello, how are you? How is your day?  What are you up to?”  I received monosyllabic responses such a ‘Good’ or ‘Not much’.
 
And every time I picked up my dry cleaning I would think of something kind to say.  I would thank them for doing it on time.  I would tell them what a great job they did with the previous cleaning.  I would appreciate their reliability.
 
Then there was this one day…  Visualise this. As I stepped into the shop the roof parted and the sun shined through.  He looked up (in slow motion of course), saw me and the left side of his face moved upright, and then the right.  And yes…. He cracked a smile.  I wouldn’t call it a broad faced Ronald McDonald kind of smile, brimming with love and happiness one.  But I would say it was a definite an eye smiling smirk.
 
And then we had this moment.  I said to him.  ‘You have just made my day’.  He looked at me quizzically and asked ‘Why?”.  I told him ‘Because, not only can I rely on you to make me look fabulous in my clothes but you made me feel seen and noticed, with that little smirk of yours’.
 
From thereon, the smirk remained, most of the time.
 
I’d love to say it took 21 days to crack him.  That would just tie things up in such a nice bow for this challenge.  But nup.  It took over 18 months. 
 
Years later I was moving house (to another suburb) and it was too far for me to travel for my dry cleaning. After 18 months of my mission and 5 ½ years of smirking we finally had a bond.  Yes, an entertaining one.  So, I went in for the last time to say thanks and goodbye. 
 
He walked out from behind his desk and put his arm on my shoulder and awkwardly looked me in the eye.  I could see his wife smiling from behind.  He then thanked me for persisting with my kindness and that it showed him what a difference making an effort can make.  Then he walked back to his desk and continued with his work.
 
You never know the impact you make. 
 
So think about who is in your local community.  Who can you make a difference to?  Who can you Get Your Positive On with?  Even if they don’t deserve it.  But because it’s the nice thing to do.

Georgia

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Last modified on Monday, 07 November 2016 05:51

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