Find something positive to say to each person you have an interaction with. Sum it up into one sentence or less and move on. Get connected. Become human.
To the woman at the beginning of my shift. The woman who came to the counter shaking violently from the anxiety of flying. I should have grabbed your hand and said, “Feel my steadiness. Feel the calm that I have. The confidence that you will be OK.” But I didn’t. Because I was afraid. I was afraid she might cry out and say, “Why are you touching me?”
I regretted this choice all day and thought about it for 8 and a half hours.
Maybe the lesson is to conquer your fears in order to unite with others. Or maybe, allow others to know your fears so they can help conquer them.
Every interaction with another human being has an infinite number of possibilities. It is our job to discover each other’s strengths in order to build a better future. Failure to do so is missed opportunity.
I meet a lot of people each day. Around 250, on average, per day. They come from all over the world. Although I am aware that this is a limited sample, it does give me some insight into people as a whole. I have small interactions with around 50 of the 250 people I meet. 80% of them are friendly and engaging. 15% are indifferent. 5% are hostile.
I have to make a confession. Before I began working as a cashier at Food and Friends I thought of cashiers as an extension of the inanimate object to which they are attached. This was my perspective before. Never again.