Maybe I did not fully appreciate the outsize imprint James made on my life twenty five years ago. He was the unfailingly positive parking lot attendant for a building where I worked in Newark, NJ. Only the most miserable misanthrope could resist his infectious demeanor. I spoke with him nearly every day for the brief time I worked there, asked him his secret, and thought about him regularly years after I was transferred. Then, James slipped my mind.
Not long ago, I began noticing a remarkably attentive and energetic gas station attendant at a WAWA I infrequently patronize. Yesterday, that attendant waited on me. I left my car at the pump, got coffee and returned to settle up. As I handed him my $$ he asked me "How is your day going?" Truth be told, it hadn't been a stellar day to that point, but I answered "fine" anyway and politely asked him the same. His response? "I'm making it terrific." And I believe him.
Pulling away, I made a few resolutions:
* If that attendant is working the next time I get gas at that WAWA, I'm going to learn his name and if he asks, tell him mine. As time goes on, unless I get a weird vibe or it appears I'm giving him the creeps, I'm going to engage him further, maybe learn his story, like I did with James.
* I'm going to be on the lookout for more people like this; my life is richer for them.
When did you last encounter the kind of unbridled positive energy James and his brethren give off?