Does it cost anything to be nice?

Let me start off by saying I like people.  I really do.  I find people of all ages interesting, as I believe everyone has a story to tell.  I try to be pleasant and kind, which has helped me a great deal as most of the jobs I have had in my life have involved dealing with the public.

Because I generally like people, I find it hard to understand why people can’t seem to be nice to one another.  What effort does it really take to use a kind word and a nice tone?  Is it really easier to behave however you feel at the moment?  The saying is true, that you do get more with sugar than with vinegar.  Why don’t people get this?

The job I currently have is being a Switchboard Operator.  I work in a hospital.  We are responsible for all incoming calls to the facility, and we act as an answering service for many local physician’s offices.  I understand that dealing with your loved ones being sick or unwell is not easy, and can cause a lot of stress.  Why do some people rise to the occasion and behave decently?  They behave properly and they speak appropriately.  And the next call that comes in – you can be bombarded and verbally assaulted by a caller who (probably) doesn’t like having to deal with a hospital or having anything to do with us. Sickness brings out vulnerabilities in people.  I try very hard to be understanding.  I really do.  I lost both of my parents in hospital settings, and I never, ever resulted to being a rude and inappropriate jerk.

Most of the callers I speak to (and there are hundreds each day, at the least) are kind, polite and easy to talk to.  They say please and they say thank you.  This is the way human beings are supposed to treat each other.  When I get a caller who is stressed, rude, nasty and insulting (the language isn’t pretty) I do my best to ignore it, and show them – if they can’t be decent, at least I can be professional.  I also have tried “killing them with kindness,” which I guess is a bad thing to say in a hospital setting.  Many times it has turned them around – as if giving them a jump start kind-of shock showed them how they were speaking – and then they shaped up, so to speak.

When I’m out in public, I see things that I like.  And things that I don’t like.  I don’t think there is any reason to be rude to a cashier or worker who is simply doing their job.  I’m smart enough to realize that a young cashier does not set the prices for an item, nor does he or she make policies for the store where they work.  I enjoy seeing customers talking to one another while waiting in line, passing the time.  Just being nice.  And polite.  Why don’t more people act this way?  Last year I bought more things at a department store than I could really carry.  A young girl saw me struggling and helped me with all my stuff to get on the cashier’s line.  We stood there, talking about the holidays, prices, plans, etc.  When it was my turn, the girl turned to me and said “happy holidays.”  I then realized she didn’t have anything she was buying.  She simply stood there, chatting with me.  Smiling and laughing.  Just to be nice and to be pleasant.  This is how we should all treat each other.  Nicely.

I’ll continue being my nice self.  It’s not that I’m always happy go lucky, because I’m not.  I get in moods, I have things going on in my life that could cause me to act wrong.  But I won’t.  Because that’s not who I am.  More people should live by the “treat (and act) towards others like you’d want to be treated.”  It’s a good rule to live by.

Published by lifeissmashingalways

58 year old Mom with three great sons, and SIX great cats and their wonderful Dad, Jeff... LISA is my name. Life Is Smashing Always comes from the letters in my name...

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