I called my mom yesterday and asked, “Well, has springtime arrived in Wisconsin yet?”
She replied, “Oh yes, it has arrived; it’s forty-five degrees here today!” (You can tell that she is a true Wisconsin-ite.)
Mom went on to say that they’d just had a bad storm and most of the town’s electricity was knocked out. It took awhile for it to be restored and she heard that the power company got a whole lot of phone calls complaining about the delay.
“But,” she went on to add, “Debbie decided that she was going to do something different so she called the power company and thanked them for restoring the electricity. They appreciated her call so much but I’m not sure they quite knew what to do with it because they mostly just get complaints.”
Since having that conversation, I have thought quite a bit about what my sister did. And I also thought about the way most of us are wired in this regard:
- If the French fries are cold, we complain.
- If there aren’t enough registers open at the local Stuff Mart, we complain.
- If the sanctuary is too hot (or too cold), we complain.
- If the check out person makes a small mistake on our transaction (thereby delaying us 3.72 minutes while it’s fixed), we complain.
- If the service is slow at a restaurant, we complain.
- If we can’t find a clerk to help us in the shoe department, we complain.
- If we’re put on hold for longer than 57 seconds, we complain.
I can imagine that it must be stressful to be a manager of just about anything when most of what they have to do deal with is negative feedback.
Now don’t get me wrong. If something really was done wrong or if an issue needs attention, I’m not saying we shouldn’t graciously speak up. However, I think it would be sort of fun to change the paradigm a bit and start to do more of what Debbie did.
- Is the electricity finally restored after being out a couple hours? Call to say thank you.
- Does the bus boy bring a new fork after you dropped yours on the floor—without being asked? Mention it.
- Is the Post Office clerk extra patient when you ask fourteen questions about the cheapest way to send a package to Cincinnati? Tell his supervisor.
- Does the teen running the cash register at McDonalds smile extra bright, compliment your hair and look you right in the eye when giving you your change? Tell her manager.
- Does the person cleaning your office building keep the toilets extra clean? Comment on it.
Bottom line? If you’re like me, you probably just speak up when something is wrong. But think about all of the innumerable somethings that have been done right. Wouldn’t it be cool to make someone’s entire day and mention the somethings?
But before you do, be prepared for someone’s face to light up. Be prepared for someone’s eyes to brighten. Be prepared for worry lines to ease a bit. Be prepared for someone’s step to be a little lighter as they walk away. You might even need to be prepared for someone’s eyes to become suspiciously moist.
Because you know what?
We don’t know what unendurable burden the stocker in the cereal aisle is carrying. We can’t imagine the traumatic phone call the waitress at the diner just got. We can never know how very close to the “last straw” the manager at Walmart is.
To a person who is starved for attention, desperately lonely, or one step away from completely giving up, one kindness from one stranger could end up being the one thing that turns the tide for them. Once and for all.
Does that sound a bit dramatic? No, it’s not. At all.
So keep your eyes open. Speak up. Make a difference. Notice the somethings.
First of all, let me mention that I took all of your great comments concerning things to do on the Outer Banks and added them to this week’s earlier post called, “A Grumpy OBX-er.”
You can always find that post again later by going to the labels in the right column and clicking on “Manteo.” I’ve also added an Outer Banks tag to some of those relevant posts but for some reason, that’s not showing up . So you can just find all Outer Banks posts under Manteo.
Heidi said, “I wondered if you'd ever crossed paths with Nathan or Tricia from cfhusband.blogspot.com? I check Nathans blog as well and I know he too is a minister and in the OBX area.
Heidi, Yes we have run into Nathan and his (pastor) dad a couple times at various functions and events around town. They are such a great family!
Janet said, I always enjoy your pictures--whether they be of your beautiful family, the scenic area you live in, or just something you thought was interesting. I am not a photographer--in fact I haven't even owned a camera since 35 mm cameras were "in". But I was wondering--what do you do with all of the "pictures". I think I read they are stored on memory cards (?), but how do you keep them organized? Say, six months from now, if you wanted to remember where the picture of Sarah on the beach with the green shirt was--how would you find it?
Janet, yes keeping pictures organized can be a bit of a challenge but I must say that it’s much easier to keep them organized in digital form, rather than printed form. (And yes I’ll admit it; I’m one of those people with shoe boxes full of old pictures!)
Different photographers all use different organizational methods but I mostly use a free download called Picasa Once it’s on your computer, you can very easily make virtual folders for all your pictures. For instance, the one you mentioned of Sarah on the beach would be in a folder (with the other ones I took that afternoon) called, “Sarah, beach.” (Catchy isn’t it?) And then if I want, ALL pictures I take of Sarah on the beach can put in that folder. The pictures are also organized by year and date too, so that makes the job a little easier.
The program also provides easy-to-use, basic editing which I really love.
And since I hate to leave you all picture-less at post’s end, here is a shot I took of my favorite girl.
Here she is during rehearsal for our Easter presentation.
And here’s a sneak preview of the first part of the resurrection scene.
It’s going to be a busy (but wonderful) weekend. Wishing you a blessed Resurrection Day!