I must admit I had a challenging time trying to coin a proper title for this short post. It was borne out of an experience I have been having in different times, different locations and with different people.
I get to visit different establishments and buildings and owing to the increased threat of terrorism and robbery, most building and establishments have taken security to a higher level. They have stationed guards at the main entrance with hand held scanners. This is to make sure that nobody brings anything that could be a security risk into the establishment.
Once you get into the establishment, there are the service attendants. These include waiters in hotels, tellers and attendants in supermarkets, banks and shopping malls. All these and the many more I have not mentioned, are there to make our time in those establishments easier and enjoyable. But with the African mentality of entitlement, we rarely recognize these people and many of us do not even give them a passing glance. We believe they are there to rightly serve us but we should also remember that they are humans like us, and they too have feelings and needs.
I usually make a point of saying hello, excuse me or thank you, to anyone one of them I encounter. Out of the ten I show recognition to, eight of them are usually surprised and sometimes I am forced to repeat even greetings. This clearly shows that this person was not expecting anybody to show them recognition and when it rarely happens, it comes as a great surprise to them. It becomes even more of a shock when you decide to tip them. But the part I love and enjoy most, is the glow one sees on their faces after that brief encounter. It clearly shows that these people, like the rest of us, yearn for recognition, love, respect and appreciation.
Next time you visit your bank, shopping mall, supermarket, boutique, hotel or even hospital, say hello to the guard at the door, appreciate him/her, smile at the receptionist, salute the teller, appreciate the cleaner and, if you are in a good financial position, give a tip however small it may be. It goes a long way in lifting the mood of that person and who knows, that small act, may mean the difference between life and death. Some of these people are going through some very tough moments in their life but they still turn up to their work stations and try to make our lives easier, so the least we can do (despite the fact that they are being paid) is to appreciate their hard work. Treat others they way you would like to be treated if you were in their position. To read more posts by Mwangi, please click HERE
Photo Credit – fivetofivehotel.com/