This I Believe

Taylor - Joliet/Il/60435, Illinois
Entered on April 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Smile to be Happy

When I turned sixteen, I got my first job in the restaurant business. Since then, every job I’ve ever had has been in a restaurant. Like most other jobs that involve customer service, working in a restaurant can be very hectic, stressful, and annoying. Last winter, around the Christmas rush, I was scheduled for a grueling eight hour shift. Around this time of year, customers are usually very hostile and demanding as they come in after a long chaotic day of shopping. I was not looking forward to working on this particular day.

Within the first hour of work, I already felt stressed out. It was impossible to make any customer happy. Nothing we did was good or fast enough to meet their expectations. I had to clench my fists and just smile, even though inside I was screaming “Can someone please get me out of here!”

My smile was forced and my mouth tense as, I called out, “I can help the next person in line.” I expected to deal with another angry customer. To my surprise, up walked a young woman with the biggest smile I had seen all day. She was happy and bright-eyed, full of energy. That one person, that one smile, got me through the rest of my day.

Instead of smiling because I had to, I started to smile because I wanted to. Eventually it became natural. The more I smiled the more friendly customers I encountered. I decided that not just a small, I’m just being nice because I’m paid to smile, but an I’m happy and confident smile can always change a person’s mood from bad to good.

A smile can go a long way. Now when I find myself frustrated by the animosity people sometimes show, the memory of one friendly face comes to mind and my day seems to miraculously change. This I believe, if you smile long enough, you will be happy.