I Love It When People Really Like Their Jobs

In law school, I had a job one summer as an administrative assistant at a law firm. A part of this job included answering phones.

And I answered the hell out of those phones, professionally, courteously, and cheerfully.

There was one attorney there who was a real miserable bastard, and of course he really liked me for ethnic reasons. Anyway, one day he told me the guy he just talked to on the phone, a frequent caller, told him he loved when I answered the phone because “That kid sounds like he really loves his job.”

The guy meant it sincerely. The attorney thought it was foolish of me. But screw him. Any job worth doing is worth doing well.

Misery spreads. So does cheer.

At the Staples in my town, they’re all nice. But one young woman cashier is particularly cheerful. She’s super helpful to everyone and greets and says goodbye to all customers who come in and out of the store. And you know what? It puts a smile on your face.

What about waitstaff at restaurants? When they’re cheerful and friendly and act like they actually want to be there, the experience is exponentially more pleasant. It’s just nice be reminded that not all people are miserable wretches. Most aren’t, in fact.

Whatever you do, do it well and at least try to have a smile on your face. Leave your personal baggage at home because the people who interact with at work don’t need to hear about it and don’t want to.

The friendly woman at Dunkin Donuts. The personable guy who fixes your car. And so on. It all adds up.

It’s the same way we all cringe when nasty, bitter politics are inserted into a book or movie or video game or song as a mean-spirited sucker punch. Act like you enjoy entertaining people. Act like you like your audience.


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8 comments

  1. Sometimes, it’s a toxic workplace; they really aren’t bringing personal baggage. If all the employees are chronically in bad moods (like the local Wal Mart), it’s probably a bad workplace. I just won’t go there. I’ll go to Target, where the employees are usually happy. Ftr, I love my job tutoring kids. It’s hard, but worth it. And there’s no way I can afford to be in a bad mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is true. But still, ideally, don’t take it out on customers. Ideally.

      Your job sounds tough, but you’re doing good work because God knows schools aren’t always up to the task of performing their core function.

      Like

  2. Alexander,

    Modern work and the office environment aren’t always conducive for good cheer.
    I’ve been in situation where the work changes regularly, boosts acting like a kapo at a gulag and so on .

    I agree that any job is worth doing well but sometimes….. 🙂

    xavier

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve found that in customer service positions, if you expect people to be rude, they will be. Better to assume they’ll be delightful and treat the opposites as anomalous aberrations. Even if the job is shitty, the person you’re dealing with likely has something just as shitty going on in their lives. And that’s the same reason I don’t get angry as a customer when mistakes are made. Say I go to a restaurant and my order’s messed up or some other issue like that comes up, I’ll say something, but I’ll also make it clear that I’m not angry and it’s no big deal. Because I know they’re probably having a rough day, and my making it worse accomplishes nothing. I never understood people who seem to go into places itching for a fight with the staff 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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