When People Smile, It Matters

Jason - Plymouth, Minnesota
Entered on February 21, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I sincerely believe that it’s pretty easy to oversimplify most things. Politics are based on the very reality of it. Stump speeches have to condense sentiment in order to appeal to polls. But I’d rather bypass politics for everyday interactions. I help manage a quick serve Mexican restaurant chain. There’s a fantastic cross section of humanity that lopes through our daily business and the only thing that really rings true is that, when people smile, it matters. I know how that sounds- hippie culture molding into the mainstream. A Grateful Dead bumper sticker that got missed at a Boulder printing shop somewhere. But this belief remains through regular living in my world. Our staff isn’t fantastically literate in English. We don’t serve gourmet food. I’m not expecting at any time to lead the charge for a movement. But I do know that we seek, provide, enhance and pull smiles out of our efforts every day. And when we get them, it matters. To us, and all of my entry level employees who are toiling with heart, there’s simple and frequently unspoken grace. To our guests- a thanks, whether produced or generated, brings them back for another lunch or dinner. This matters because

1)The efforts that got these employees to that spot are often something you’d never undertake in three lifetimes.

B)The simple happiness of feeding people and sending them warmly ready for the rest of their day is classically oversimplified.

and

3) I believe in eye contact.

Our time together becomes increasingly reduced. My business is a perfect example of it: The goal is to get people through the line as quickly as as satisfied as humanly possible. When those kinds of goals are your daily events, I believe that when people smile- it truly matters. It might be the only part of the day where both parties agree face-to-face on their efforts.