There’s a bakery around my neighborhood; and I go every other day. Everybody over there knows me.
But can you guess who knows me most ? The cashier?
The guy who packs cakes and pastries?
The guy who makes sandwiches?
No. None of them do.
It’s the watch-guard that knows me. And he is the one who actually cares whenever I show up at the bakery. He is an old man, about 55- 60 years old.
While growing up, my parents taught me to be the first one to greet people upon entering a social gathering or any place else. To this day, this little teaching has become part of my innate nature.
Whenever this guard sees me get out of my car, his face just lights up, as though he saw someone he somehow connected with. The man would always give me the warmest smile, greet me and open the doors for me. Maybe its part of his job to be nice and welcoming to the visitors; its good customer relations and basic ethics.
Overtime, the man’s demeanor gets kinder and kinder with me for God knows why. It’s been years that I’ve been going there. Now its not just smiling and opening doors, now he would ask me how I am, how my parents are, and why they haven’t shown up in a long time. He would take any extra bags I am carrying, watch my car for me in the parking lot and help me load stuff in my car if i have done a lot of purchasing.
I’ve always wondered why this special treatment? Why this generosity? I guess he sensed my curiosity and once said while keeping my bags in the car
“It’s not always how you behave with certain people, sometimes, its just as much about how the other person is treating you. What you are getting is just what you really give.”
As flattering as it may have been, I was surprised at how my simple greeting can get people to behave nicely with me. It’s incredible how words effect people in ways beyond imagination.
The one thing I learned was:
Be careful what you say. Words have enough power to delight and to destroy…