During my senior year in college and the year that followed, I worked as a teller at a bank, and sometimes I filled in as the receptionist at the front desk if they needed me to. I saw so many people, always greeting them with a smile, always trying to show an interest in them as a customer.
I remember one morning quite clearly, it changed my outlook on what I said and if I meant what I said. An elderly woman pulled up to the drive through, and I greeted her with my standard, "Good morning! How are you today?"
She paused. She responded slowly.
"Oh, not so good, honey. My brother is in the hospital down in Springfield. They don't think he's going to make it through the day."
I was stunned. Not at the information, just at the fact that she told me and was so sincere and genuine as she spoke to me, visibly upset as the words came out of her mouth.
It wasn't the normal, "I'm good," or "I'm fine," answer. She told me what was really going on in her life. For a brief moment, I was a part of her really bad day.
After that, I stopped asking that question. I don't think I even ask it to people I know a little better than that sweet old lady. I stick with, "Hi! Beautiful weather we're having, huh?" or maybe, "Boy, I sure hope the rain lets up."
Is that bad? Is it bad that it was so hard for me to have someone share that with me? I guess it was just that I realized I wasn't asking to be genuine. I was asking out of formality.
Yesterday I received a replacement debit card in the mail. I called to activate it, and the girl on the other end said, "Hello, Chrissy. How was your day today?"
"Not very good actually." I held back tears.
I'm not sure what went through her mind when I said it, and I'm not sure why I told her the truth. I guess if you're having a bad day and someone asks you that question, depending on if anyone else has asked yet, maybe you're prone to be honest?
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I sure hope tomorrow is better."
Thanks, Regions Customer Service. I'm not sure if it will be, but that was a really good, standard response.
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