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.
Support independent creators who love their audience and pick a copy of A Traitor to Dreams. Fans like it, and you’ll like it too. Still on special I Love My Audience Sale for $0.99!