“I’ll be with you in just one minute.”

Black & White Clock

photo by Chris Metcalf

I was thinking yesterday about the fact that all it really takes to make most situations completely different (read: hopefully better!) is about a second. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been making a point of checking out at least one new place each day during the month of June. And it’s been great fun so far! It takes me outside of my usual daily routine, makes me look more closely at the places around me (always gotta be thinking about new possibilities!), and has made for some fun adventures already.

Which leads me to the subject of this post: Taking a moment to make a positive change.

Yesterday I decided to stop in at a new massage therapy place that opened up near me a while back. I’ve been looking for a new massage therapist for quite some time now and, while I tend to search out an individual vs. a business for something like this, the place looked nice, so I thought I’d give it a try. When I walked in, the woman at the front desk was on the phone. When I walked out a few minutes later, the woman at the front desk was on the phone.

Now, I’ve been a receptionist/front desk manager — both at a relatively quiet construction company and at a very, very busy gymnastics academy — so I know firsthand how difficult it can be to juggle phone calls and walk-ins and people waiting. And, I figured out right away that it makes all the difference in the world in someone’s day, especially if they have to wait for you, to just take a moment to look them in the eye and acknowledge their presence. Countless times I’d look up from my phone call, acknowledge the presence of someone who’d just walked up to my desk, put up one finger to let them know it’d be a minute, and mouth to them with a “thanks for understanding” smile, “I’ll be right with you.” And it was huge.

Had the woman yesterday done the same for me, I would have happily waited to chat with her for a bit, to get a better sense of the place, to find out answers to my questions. Instead, without that acknowledgment, I just grabbed a few pieces of literature to answer my main questions, waited awkwardly for a moment, and then walked out with an image of the place being rather cold and unfriendly (definitely not something I want in a place to help me relax and relieve tension and stress!). Had the woman yesterday taken even half a second to just look up from her call and nod at me, I would have happily waited and I would have left with a completely different view of the place.

Ah well, here’s to being aware of those seconds, those tiny little pieces that can make all the difference in the world in the day of the people right in front of us… and to taking the time to acknowledge those people in them!

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