At a local lunch place in my town, there’s this bus boy. His job? To clean tables after customers leave, making the table ready for the next customer.
But each time I’m there, I watch with fascination the effect he has on others as he takes bussing tables to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. This restaurant is the kind where you tell them your name, they announce it when your order’s ready and you pick it up at the counter. You take your cup to the drink station and get your drink, napkins, straws, etc. It’s a self-serve kind of place.
But if The Busboy is on duty, that’s not what happens.
Instead, he greets you with a dazzling smile, remembers your name from last time and declares, “Have a seat! I’ll bring your lunch out!” Quickly, cheerfully and with a bit of flair, he brings lunch to the table. “Here ya go, Mrs. Connie. You got enough to drink? Need some salt or pepper? Alright, you ladies enjoy.” The other customers’ faces light up as he does the same for them.
You would think he was the owner and master chef of an expensive 5 star restaurant! But wait. He’s just the busboy.
Just the busboy? More like a shining ambassador for his place of employment.
Every time I see him, I’m reminded:
It’s not just about WHAT you do, it’s about HOW you do it.
Here are 3 reasons why your attitude matters.
- Your attitude is contagious. The energy you bring to your meeting, your classroom or home spreads to others and they are affected by it. I’m told we have “mirror neurons” in our brains that make our emotions catchable. So take responsibility for the energy and mood you’re spreading to others.
- This moment makes your future moments. How you do what you do impacts how people respond to you and very often, the results you get. I give The Busboy a better tip than many other servers and I suspect other customers do, too. Decide that you will WOW other people with your genuine caring and attention to detail, and watch to see whether you get a different response than usual.
- You can make a difference in this world no matter what you do for a living. Busboys are not known for making millions. Working in the service industry (I’ve been there) can be frustrating. Customers are in a hurry, in a bad mood, don’t expect to see you again, etc. It can be tempting to tell yourself, “If I had a really important job, my attitude would be better.” But whatever your job is, don’t miss this truth: YOU IMPACT OTHERS. Yes, YOU! Start infusing everything you do with love and enthusiasm, realizing that you can impact others for good, no matter what you do for a living.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently put it:
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music…Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: “Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”
You can hear that speech here.
Think with me here. What’s an example of HOW someone did something that wowed you?
And what area might shift in your life if you focused on HOW you do something?
Leave a comment because I’d really love to know. And if you have a friend or co-worker who’s caught in a negative loop and could use a little encouragement, share this with them.
Remember, It’s not just about WHAT you do. It’s about HOW you do it!
Thanks for reading!