Inspiration and Motivation – The Power of a Smile

I woke up this morning a bit out of sorts. I had worked late last night and was looking forward to a bit of a sleep-in before I started work. No such luck though, as I was woken from my slumber an hour before my alarm by a loud knock on the door. I jumped up to find some guy at my door trying to peddle some life insurance, a new religion, a change of internet plan….actually, I didn’t take much notice. I just politely declined and excused myself.

Anyway, even though I wasn’t really listening to the guy at the door, I was still fully awake by the time I closed the door. I thought there was no point going back to bed, so I went about making my breakfast. I aimlessly faffed around for what seemed like 20 minutes (but was more likely 2 hours) and suddenly it was time to go to work.

For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it today. Maybe it was the early wake up, or maybe it was the grey and drizzly weather, or maybe it was because I wasn’t entirely sure where I would be working that day and had concerns I might be rostered to one of my less favourite job sites. I note quickly that I have a permanent job but occasionally I’m not rostered onto a specific location until the day of work.

Whatever the reason, I wasn’t really that keen for work. I wasn’t what you would call miserable but I certainly was very flat and didn’t really feel like talking to anyone. This is not particularly desirable for a face to face customer service role.

Perhaps by good fortune, I was assigned a particularly busy work site, with no opportunity to make myself busy doing other things in an effort to avoid customers. I had no choice but to interact with the customers. I was looking at a long day ahead.

It wasn’t long at all when I was approached by someone with a big smile to ask a question. What did I do in return? I smiled back. It wasn’t forced, a smile just naturally came to my face as I answered the question and said goodbye.

That smile totally sparked me up! One smile! Immediately, my attitude towards the day improved and I looked forward to the next customer contact. In fact, I actively started seeking it. I started wandering looking for anyone with the slightest confused face to help or even just to say hello. I carried the smile with me and received lots of smiles back. Every smile was that little bit of fuel that carried me through the shift. Surprisingly, the time flew by and it didn’t really feel like I was working at all. Just having 30 second relationships with people.

It’s incredible how quickly my mood changed in an instant. Next time I’m feeling work is a chore, I hope I remember to give someone a smile as it’s a gift that is often returned.

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