There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes. – William J. Brennan, Jr.
Meet Denise, she is in charge of the fresh sandwich, bakery, and deli area at a local convenience store in Wisconsin. She can also be known as the Human Light Bulb. The moment you meet her, her attitude will light you up.
Short on time, like a lot of people I decided to solve the dilemma of low fuel and hunger by stopping at a local convenience store. Did my usual and grabbed a bottle of water. Then I decided to grab something from the fresh sandwich area. This is where I met Denise.
“Excuse me Miss, Can you help me?” Denise turned around with a smile like Ms. Claus, “Well, HELLLO!! How may I help you? “I was actually taken aback in a good way. Her enthusiasm and smile is contagious. I couldn’t help but smile. Smiling ear to ear she went on to tell me her favorite sandwiches, not only her favorite sandwiches but also what condiments go well with each sandwich. I sat back and thought. Wow, this lady is like a human light bulb. She lights up when helping a customer!
“You must really like you what you do.” “Oh, I love what I do…I have been involved in food service for many years! Each day I look forward to coming to work. People come in here and tell me how much of a Good job I do! I love it… People go out of their way to tell me good job! They don’t have to do that. It just makes me so happy that someone notices. It makes me want to do better. That’s why I like what I do.”
She then noticed there were other customers waiting to grab a few items. She pulled me aside, excused herself for a second and greeted them with the same enthusiasm. She then proceeded to really impress me.
“Enjoy the rest of your day”, she said to customer, who followed with a grumbling response. She looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and just kept on smiling. How awesome is that?
I had to ask, “Why are you so happy?” She answered my questions like it was secret. “You know, no matter how menial the task, if you have to do it and if you are going to do it, why have a sour attitude doing it? A poor attitude does no one any good. Why not have a good attitude? Why not complete the task with a smile? If you don’t smile, it only makes it worse. Smiling just makes you feel better.
She continued to say, “Tomorrow isn’t a promise. I would hate to wake up tomorrow, be not well and think that I didn’t give it my all.”
Since I was short on time I had to go.I told her thank you for making my day and reminding me of how the little things matter.
She looked at me and with her eyes glistening, “Thank you for making my day!”
Who would have thought a bottle of water and a fresh sandwich would be about simple reminders on how to approach work and life.
Denise taught me 4 simple lessons on how to approach life and work.
- No matter how big or small the task take pride in what you do. Approach each task with the right attitude. When you’re given a minor, menial task, it’s often very tempting to do it with minimal effort just to get it done.. Try to give your complete focus to the task at hand and do it as best you can. Plus you never know who is watching.
- Not everyone is going to embrace your positive attitude and that’s ok. You can’t please everyone.
- Smile-it’s contagious!
- Take a moment to smell the roses. – If you do you may notice someone doing a good job.
If you are ever traveling between Madison, WI and Brookfield, WI I suggest you stop in at the Kwik Trip on the east side of the road in Oconomowoc, WI and say hi to Denise, and while you are at it please tell her Tony says hi!
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
― Mae West