People in the service industry are PEOPLE!


In my career in the public library, I served people one on one. In that role, I received much feedback, usually favorable. I was always aware that such affirmation is not the norm for many jobs. Many people rarely or never receive a thank you or praise for doing their job. Some barely get acknowledgment for being a person.

For some, it might not make much difference, but for others a stroke now and then
could make an immense difference in how they feel about their work and themselves.
The above can occur in any line of work, but everyday service jobs are the most obvious. One particular favorite of mine is sidewalk construction. First of all it is hard work, the digging out, placing those heavy metal forms and, finally,mixing, pouring and smoothing the cement to perfection.

Yes, these guys are perfectionists. I have long wanted to express my appreciation to sidewalk workers and last summer I got my chance. Nearby, for weeks, a crew redid along section of sidewalk and curbs. Everyday it was sweltering in the 90s. Adding to my admiration was the fact these were Mexicans. Since working with migrants in Florida, I have respected their work ethic.

I was inspired to buy some Dos Equis for them. I caught them on their last day. Months later, they were in the neighborhood and I got to chat with the crew boss. He was glad to see the beer guy again. He thanked me and said they never get compliments for their work.

My exchange with these guys was something I had learned. I also have learned from others to have a easy word for the checkout person, the gas station attendant,etc.. Any humor is a bonus. It is simply acknowledging their personhood. It is so easy and such offerings give grace to both giver and receiver.