Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

It occurred to me this morning that there are two people in my life without whom things would be less happy, less easy, less cheerful, etc.  I wanted to thank them and others like them, who are 1) CONSISTENT and 2)Thoughtful about the work they do. In short, they appear to give a shit, on a regular basis.

I wish this wasn't as refreshingly odd as I am making it out to be. I wish that top-notch service was not an exception. The good news is, because it sometime IS the exception, these rock stars are easy to pick out from the crowd.

Every weekday, usually before the sun shows it's face, I am in my car, transporting grouchy teenagers to their early morning studies, where they surely smile and say nice things, unlike what they do at their home environment. Often, said teenagers merely tune out for the morning drive, plugged in to iPods and not feeling the need to engage in pleasant conversation.  Sometimes, though, they are fully engaged in what is going on in the car and on the road around them, but I can assure you that the only time they are interested in the trip is when we are running late and they think that harping about it will make us get there faster.

Every day, at the end of this less than joyful trip, I see a man standing in the middle of the road, waving his arms like a maniac, smiling and laughing and generally having a good time of it.

He's the crossing guard.

We love him all to bits.

I have no idea what his name is--a fact I realized when I decided that I wanted to buy him a thank-you gift--but his name isn't as important as the fact that he is a never-failing, kick-ass public servant who keeps things moving and keeps it safe for kids when all of the self-important jerks in SUV's (myself included) start thinking that our time is more valuable than anyone else's.

Let me be clear: I still think my time is more valuable than anyone else's. That's why we need people like this man.  Every day when I see him, even the grouchy days, I wish I had come prepared with a large cup of hot cocoa that I would hand him from the driver's side window as I coast through the intersection.  Every single day.  That's how much I appreciate you, Mr. Crossing Guard As Yet To Be Named.  For you sake, I hope it warms up soon.  I know you can't stand there holding hot cocoa like a goon in the middle of the intersection, but don't worry--I got you...

Further on down the road, there is another guy waiting, and I don't see him every day, just days when I'm feeling naughty...

...naughty enough to eat a fast food breakfast, I mean.  

My weakness, sausage biscuits, can be found at a drive through on the way to work, and if the food didn't warm my heart (I have a rather un-natural love of biscuits, I'm not gonna lie...), the fact that the same guy is working there every week day at 7AM, surely will.  

The first time I ever heard him talk, I thought "How sweet! A gay Latino! I love gay Latinos!" because ultimately, I'm awful like that. I don't know if this man is gay, or even Latino, for sure, I'm just saying his voice is a little Leguizamo-In-Julie-Newmar-esque, and I think that's cute.  It makes me smile, without fail.  Go ahead and slap me.


Sunshine-Boy takes my order, chuckles because it's always the same dumb thing every time, tries in vain to get me to add cheese to that and marvels on the days I am able to pay for the transaction in cash, since I virtually never carry any (I do know, however, that the exact cost of two sausage biscuits at this particular venue is exactly 2 dollars and fifteen cents).  I handed him exact change this morning and he nearly fell over from the shock.

And that kind of stuff just works on me.  Consistent and cheerful with a good memory?  You're hired.  So here's to you, Other Guy Who's Name I Don't Know, for feeding my tummy and my soul.  I'm sorry you work in food service, and also? I'm really, really glad you work in food service....

One could argue that now that I have all the nice-ness off my chest that I can go back to being the same, bitter old me, but I think we'll let the nice percolate for the rest of the day and see what happens....


  1. I love happy people...they help me be a happier person, or at least feel better about stuff without much more than a smile.

  2. I like happy people well enough. But that early? Isn't it kind of sick to be happy that early? Seems unnatural, anyway......

  3. Morning people! I'm one, and I have to tone it down, dramatically, because one of my daughters really, really isn't. She's the opposite of that, in fact. Like if you display cheerfulness in the morning, she'll reach out and smack you (figuratively verbally). So mornings are eggshells until I can ditch her, then it's all loud music and singing and laughing, etc. We're sort of planning to have morning parties when she moves out.

  4. I love it! Morning parties!

    (don't invite me; I don't love it that much)


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