13. It's simple: treat others how you'd like to be treated
Walked into a [store] and bought some typical stuff for home. When I got to the register, the girl at the register looked so tired and sad. I just looked at her and before she could ask me first, I said a simple "Hi there. How is your day going?"
She almost started crying. She then said "You're the first person who has even spoken to me today. Thank you so much for being so kind. You've made my work day."
Always treat people in the service industry well. They get too much [crap] from everyone and don't deserve it. They're people too.
14. Really, really listen to what people are trying to tell you
A guy would come to the smoking area with his fingernails painted. We would give him hell for it, but he just played it off like his girlfriend did it to him. We were talking one day about it, and I told him that if he had a dress in his closet, we would still love him. I told him to be who he was, and to [screw] everyone else. You only have one life to live, so live it how you want without worrying about what people think, because, in all reality, they are just passing through YOUR life.
The last day of class he came decked out in full drag. We gave him hell, but no one said anything mean or spiteful. He pulled me aside and thanked me, telling me that because of what I said, he felt like he could be himself without worry.
She is engaged to a wonderful woman, has a new baby, and is about 1/2 way through her gender reassignment surgery now.
15. Everyone has a right to be happy
In high school, there was a girl named Amanda--she often introduced herself by rhyming her last name with weird...socially awkward things (let your imaginations play). Amanda was obviously a kid who wanted to be liked and she went well over the top to get that point across. She was very extroverted and people were turned off by her aggressive crusade for bffs.
Everyday at lunch, she would play basketball by herself. One day the ball wandered over my general direction so I shot it and from there, Amanda and my lunch time one on one games began. I never thought much of it and we really only played a couple of times a week, but whatevs. So when graduation day rolled around years later, Amanda gave me a card (it was more like a small book) detailing how those basketball games helped her overcome her depression, feel welcomed by peers, and have a sense of self-worth.
I think I still have the card somewhere. It was pretty cool. Ever since then I have always gone out of my way to try to make people feel appreciated. Everyone has a right to be happy and it doesn't take much to go out of your way and help them get there.
16. People not only remember what you said, but how you made them feel
I'm really good at my job in an incredibly high-paced, aggressive, somewhat terrifying kitchen. A few years back a guy who had no faith in his abilities (which were quite good for a green cook) was failing left and right because other cooks were bullying up on him. That's par for the course when people are blowing it. Apparently my habit of him falling slightly behind on my side and me just saying "I've got you, baby, you're fine, I've got you, just breathe" a few times gave him the confidence to keep up with the job and the business. He's a pretty well-paid sous chef elsewhere now and a few months ago he said that he had a pantry guy perpetually in the weeds (uh... really, behind, I guess, hard to describe to non-cooks) and he found himself saying, "I've got you, baby, I've got you, just breathe."
He thanked me for showing him how to effectively lead and take care of his employees without holding their hands or doing their jobs for them.
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