Would it kill you to smile?

I am not a pessimist, well, not completely… Yet.  I try to have a positive attitude at all times, especially times that involve people who do not know me. I like to make a good first impression.  I will take the time to acknowledge someone and make a friendly gesture.  There are some actions that just deserve reciprocation, those that try to promote a positive setting, like a friendly wave or saying hello. My major expectation? If I smile at you, please do me the courtesy of smiling back.

I was very shy when I was younger, and I would keep my eyes pointed down when I was in public. I would never make eye contact. I would walk past friends in a mall and never know it until they yelled my name. Now that I’m older and I have a job where I work around hundreds of people, I try to be more personable. I work in a warehouse that has been converted into office space; my desk is located in the very back of that huge building. Every morning I walk from the middle of the large parking lot to my desk; it’s about the equivalent of two and a half blocks. I pass quite a few people while walking and I look at each one, in the eyes, and smile. Heck, sometimes I even say, “Good morning!” or “How are you doing?”

I have forced myself “out of my shell” in order to make others feel comfortable and maybe even happy. What do I get in return? I’ll tell you what I get. Deliberate straight-lipped faces that stare right past me, or even worse… They look at me… Right in face… They don’t smile or say a word! In fact, it’s like they make it a point to NOT smile. Tell me, is this normal? What did I do to them? Who spit in their Lucky Charms? Perhaps they should start eating a cereal with more fiber. Many of the people may not know my name or the department in which I work, but I don’t know them either and I still smile. I even smile when I’m on the phone with customers. I just feel that it’s a nice thing to do.

Oh, and when I’m entering the building or even just leaving for lunch, and someone is walking behind me… guess what I do.  I smile AND hold the door open for them!  That is such a foreign concept to some.  If I had a dollar for every time someone let a door slam in my face, I could buy myself lunch.  It wouldn’t have to be from the dollar menu either.  I could sit down and be waited on, have a glass of wine,  amuse-bouches  (you know a restaurant is expensive when they call their appetizers that), a main course, AND dessert!  I’m not even counting the bonus I should have gotten for the times I was carrying large, heavy cake boxes with my coffee balanced on top, and still had the common courtesy denied to me by the person who was just a few steps ahead.

Seeing smiles or even just a friendly face attached to a person who acknowledges my presence with a nod or the holding of a door makes me happy. I would think my smile or a kind gesture would do the same for others. Maybe the next person I encounter is hating his/her life: the kids are having problems in school, four bills are past due, cable has been disconnected, and yeah, the dog died too. What if I throw them a “screw you” glare like the ones I get in the morning and it is the last bad thing they can handle? That person could snap, whip out a gun, and start firing. So I feel I’m providing a public service with each and every smile. I’m saving lives!

About Haycomet

I have a creative license and I use it (though my picture on it isn't very flattering). I include puns, colorful similes, and hyperbole in my writing. I like to keep things interesting, and I love to make my readers laugh. I welcome comments, so don't hesitate to leave them. (See my "About the Comet" page for more)

Posted on August 22, 2011, in Rant and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The thing with the door holding is a lot of the people here are from the Northeast and well most folks from that part of the US aren’t generally the “courteous” type.

  2. I’m with you, Hayley! I smile when I pass people in the hall, primping in the bathroom, and waiting in line to get cold, filtered water. Most of the time, they don’t respond or acknowledge my gesture. Which is fine, to each their own. What really gets on my nerves is when they won’t hold an elevator or the door yet they are only a few feet in front of me. Sometimes I call them out & say, “Really!” I could understand if I was walking slow or lingering, but everywhere I go I am speed walking. We can’t change people & even though I know the same people act like I don’t exist, I still smile. We were raised better than that!

  3. Who spit in their “Lucky Charms!” I like that. I just learned a new euphemism. The cereal with more fiber, I already knew. (full of feces, right?)

    As for the smiles … :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> :-> and there’s more where those came from.

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