It’s time for our family’s annual physicals. This morning I was there bright and early at 8am with my daughter for hers…so bright and early, in fact, that the office door was still locked (hey, here’s a tip: if you schedule appointments for 8am at your office and you tell people to arrive 10 minutes early to update paperwork, UNLOCK THE DOOR BY 7:50AM! Just a thought).
So, I was already annoyed when we finally gained admittance at 7:58AM. When we sat down in the cubicle to check in, the woman serving us made no eye contact and not even a glimmer of a smile graced her lips. I noticed then that all of the staff behind the bulletproof shield were tense, not smiling, and not looking directly at each other, never mind at us lowly patients.
I had another thought as I sat there: the necklace that the receptionist was wearing was really pretty. Recalling advice a mentor had shared with me over 25 years ago for job interviewing (pick out something about the person to compliment), I decided to tell her.
“Your necklace is really pretty,” I said.
“Oh, thank you,” she said, touching it. She turned back to her computer, still not looking at us…and then she did.
Her entire demeanor changed. She was smiling at us both, joking with my daughter, making small talk (“It’s August already?”).
I’m not sure if I made her day or she made mine!