From 2008 through 2010, I was working in a small office in Charlotte, NC as a front desk receptionist.
I worked with a very sweet man in his 60s, and one day he stopped at my desk and asked me a question I had never been asked before. He asked me why I smile so much.
I thought about it for a moment. I told him that my daughter had a lot to do with it.
I had given birth to my daughter in October of 2007 and started working at this company when she was 4 months old. She was my reason for living. I know she made me much happier than I had ever been in my life, but I also believe that we should try to be upbeat and positive, especially when working at a front desk. You’re representing the company, and you’re the first impression on the phone and when they walk in the door. In fact, one of the men at that company gave me the title of “Director of First Impressions!”
For the two and a half years I worked at that company, that gentleman stopped at my desk numerous times a week, sometimes just so I would smile at him. He had a wife who was fighting cancer at the time, so he needed to see as many smiles as possible.
It still dumbfounds me when someone gives me a dirty look when I smile at them. Sometimes I feel like I’m the minority. We’re all in survival mode every minute of every day. Most people are just trying to get through the day. We never know how much we can change someones life by smiling at them, just sending them a few seconds of sunshine.
I recently had phone conversations with customer service reps at Sprint and Toyota and both the women said as soon as they heard my voice, I brightened their day! This made me happy and I could tell I left them a little happier. Just smiling when you’re having a phone conversation is absolutely contagious.
Last week, I was stopped in the Ladies Room at work by one of my co-workers who told me how much she appreciated how upbeat I am at the office every day. I told her that I’m not that way all the time, especially when I’m at home! She laughed and said “Good! That means you’re human!”
If people only knew there are moments when I’m barely holding myself together. I’m a single mom working two jobs and indeed I am only human, but I feel we should have the courage to smile at strangers when we leave the house. It not only makes ME feel better when I’m struggling, it also brightens that strangers day and chances are, they’re struggling too.
Still, I wonder why it’s so hard for some people to smile. It’s as if they think they’re going to get wrinkles or get some horrible disease if they smile, or worse yet, people might actually like them or might want to talk to them!
A smile is something that costs nothing, doesn’t take any time and instantly makes us more attractive. We see all the Hollywood folks spending tens of thousands on Plastic Surgery. If only they would smile more, that would make them more attractive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kim Kardashian smile. She always looks angry. See, you can have all the money in the world, but it doesn’t buy happiness.
It gives you wonderful freedoms, but happiness is a choice.
Never underestimate the impact a smile can make. It can completely change someone’s day.