Would you take the initiative to smile at a stranger or would you rather be the one returning the smile?
My circumstances made me chose the former in which I started off confident and cheery. However, the expected smile were replaced with grumpy and cynical faces. And that was when I wondered why they were unwilling or incompetent in returning the smile. My confidence was shaken as more of such encounters emerged one after another. While hostility may be a form of defence, an act done frequently can be turned into a habit and sadly, they form the society I deemed to be superficial, materialistic, pragmatic and depressing.
Because I was faced with hundreds of similar people each day for 4 times a week, I started turning up for my work feeling grumpy and well… sian is the word. There was absolutely no form of fulfilment because my service failed to make them feel appreciative, basically it was a situation of giving but zero receiving. Above all, I started getting frustrated as to how customers had misused the word ‘ customers’ and I witnessed for myself the nasty side of reality. It was interesting how a brightly-lit store with pop music felt so cold and sad…
After the depressing stage comes a stage whereby I learnt not to hold any expectations from the receiving end. And when people started showing appreciative acts through a smile or a simple yet genuine ‘Thank You”, it made my day. I did not know about other service providers but at the end of the journey, I chose to remember the short conversations I had with a guitar girl, a guy with a book I was always interested in, and 2 regular customers who always seemed to buy the same stuff. It would be far too exaggerating for me to refer them as ‘hope’ but because of these a 2-way conversations, they had genuinely made my days better.
I wanted the 3 months to be plain and nothing out of the ordinary, just earning my pay like the others. However looking back, it was an arduous journey with a tinge of serendipity for it provided me with sides of society I thought had only existed in dramas and fantasies. And this is why I feel everyone should give the service line a shot because it is a job that only gives and hardly receives ( oh with the exception of complaints).
something to lighten the mood a bit HEHE