Human Work makes for Happy Workers
It started at the rental car turn-in location. My friend is
a "platinum" with Hertz—a great benefit I discovered when the rental
agencies are a considerable distance from the terminal. Our driver
grinned as she slide into the driver's seat and said she could
hardly wait for school to begin. Turns out she's a school bus
driver and with her seniority, she gets to pick her route. Her
passion: autistic children. "I just love `em," she grinned. "I get
them again this year."
Fascinating. Sincere. And difficult.
We stopped to grab a bite of lunch before long flights. The waitress
excitedly nodded when we ordered the cashew chicken sandwich. "It's
our new menu. We just got it yesterday. That's a great choice!" She
grinned and gave us a two-thumbs up signal. I don't know about you,
but I rarely get service help excited by a menu. It was as if SHE
personally made the sandwich.
Fascinating. Sincere. And standing on your feet all day—difficult.
At an adjacent Frontier airlines gate, I asked where was my plane
and how come no rep was at the gate. "Listen," she laughed, "it's
also my gate. I can do amazing things. Watch how quick I get this
plane loaded. I'll do the same for yours. You'll see."
I did. It's almost 6pm on a Sunday night and folks are cranky and
tired. Not my gate attendant. True to her word, she efficiently
started the process AND took time to actually read every boarding
pass and call the passenger my name. She patted my arm when I went
through. "See, Eileen. Told you I could do this."
Fascinating. Sincere. And the job of a gate agent is difficult—very
My seatmate was a young man, a rotating guidance counselor for
grades 6-12 in the Costa Mesa,CA school district. "There aren't many
men in my line of work—and particularly men of color," he remarked
offhandedly. "DO you like what you do?" I asked. His eyes opened
wide and he offered a wide smile. "I love it. I really feel like I
am making a difference. So many of these kids have no one to talk to-
- no one to model the right behavior." He proceeded to tell me a
series of stories that would break your heart. "It's when they come
back after they leave school that is most rewarding. You just never
know if what you say today will suddenly click in years later."
Fascinating. Sincere. And difficult—very VERY difficult.
In each instance, the joy came from how each connected with another
human being. It was the CONNECTION that made the most. Not the
money. Not the title. The eyes staring at each other. The hands
reaching out to help. Fascinating. Sincere. And maybe—with
deliberate intent we could try it. Might NOT be all that difficult.
Eileen McDargh is a powerful keynote speaker, recognized work/life
leadership expert, and award winning author. Discover your
organizational and personal resiliency factor with this free online
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