I see you there 

I see you there young person sitting by yourself on that stool. One arm hanging at your side, the other embracing a glass half full with liquid droplets dribbling on the outside of the glass as the cold kisses the sticky, musty air. Your eyes are fixated on one spot on the glass while every once in awhile you glance up at the sports game that’s on tv. But your mind is elsewhere— the upcoming bills, the weird sounds coming from your car, your crumbling marriage, your kids that hate you, your past demons that have started to catch up. I watch you for awhile as you continue to glance at the tv then shift to the glass. Every once in awhile you lift the glass to your lips and take a deep gulp. I avert my eyes to the window and watch traffic go by. One care after another. Then I switch back to you. 

Why are you here? You finish your drink. You order another. The foam fizzles at the top and a little bit glides down on the side. You wipe it off with a napkin and take a large drink.

Then for a moment our eyes interlock. I half smile as if to say, “sorry I don’t mean to stare.” You respond with a nod then you look away. 

I see you there young person.I know you are better than that. I can tell you have a past that’s rocky. Your insecurities are plastered on your face. You have emotional pain from failed relationships. Not just with a significant other, but friends as well. People you once conversed with regularly are now mere “friends” on Facebook. Past significant others have pulled away from you causing you to harden your heart a bit, and when you find someone new they don’t like how “distant you are.” Yet I know deep down you’re probably softer than you allow to show. You’re heart, though beating to a constant drum, is sore from the everlasting tightness you only allow yourself to feel. 

I see you there young person sitting by yourself on that stool. One arm hanging at your side, the other embracing a glass half full.

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From People Watching to Smiling

Now, don’t take it the wrong way, but one of my favorite hobbies that has developed over the years has been people watching. I find people fascinating, intriguing. Every single person is different in their own way. Eyes, hair, shapes, height, skin color and the list goes on.

Off topic:  I’ve been an official employed college graduate for almost 2 months now, and with my job I get to talk to guests on the phone, not necessarily interact with them one-on-one. So, it’s been a little hard for me personally to interact with them because I am an inter actor via motion, not voice. By this I mean that I base what I do off of body cues not tone of voice, because to me tone of voice can be very misleading. I hear another one of my coworkers on the phone and sometimes I think she sounds annoyed when that’s just how she talks in general (and maybe she is annoyed). I always think I sound too fake happy when I’m talking to a guest because if I just talked in my ‘normal’ voice I probably would sound sarcastic or bored, when I am fairly monotone in how I talk. 

Tonight at work:  I got a little worked up tonight as I was trying to figure out some math for a guest, and I started crying (yes, again for the upteenth time…) and no, praise God, it wasn’t while I was on the phone, it was as one of my supervisors, Kirk*, was trying to help me with math (my Calculus teacher in high school always said calculus is the easy part, the algebra is the hard part). After I breathed in to calm myself, I finished speaking with the guest and afterwards Kirk said, “Hey, let’s go get a cup of coffee and take a mental break from all of this.” I hesitated thinking I was going to be in trouble, but the manager jokingly said, “If you take a call you will be in trouble.” So off I went with Kirk down to the coffee shop, and to talk and appreciate about who we are as a company whole.

I marvel as I walk down the hall admiring the paintings that have been so uniquely designed. Kirk and I pass many guests, and greet them, and he mentions a few times “This is what we are about. Do you hear those children laughing? Do you see how happy that child is (he references to the one in front of us hopping as her dad is walking).” I smiled. It’s not about the money, it’s about how are we showing the quality of a 5-star resort. It’s about allowing families to come, be happy, and make some memories. It’s not about how “Gee, I’ve had 10 guests complain about ‘how expensive’ we are” it’s about the excitement of “I’ve stayed there before, and I wanna come back because you make my child so excited.”
I had nearly forgotten how ‘bad’ that last call with a guest was.

As we neared the lobby, people trafficed their way around other people. Kirk and I just stood there, watching the people. Some were wet from the waterpark. Some headed to the waterpark. Some were Pokemon Go players. Some were coworkers. And some looked a little worn from a long day. It’s interesting to see how people carry themselves when they walk. Some walk with their heads up while others watch their toes. I told Kirk how I like to actually make up fake stories for people, like what they did, or what they are going to do, and sometimes even where they came from. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of this hobby.

Alas I was able to get a good cup of coffee, go back to my work spot, and enjoy my last hour of work with a smile on my face because I know that I’ll always have a good day as long as I make it that way. No grumpy guest is going to bring me down. I say this entire long story about my day at work to come to this conclusion: don’t give up who you are and strive to be because one person gets you down or hinders your pathway to success. Take a deep breath and try to get past the obstacle or shove it out of your way and know that you are the champion. Just like frosted flakes is the breakfast of champions, a smile is the world champion because it is the one thing that can make a difference: the way one perceives how I am, the way that it can make someone’s day, the way it can change the tone of voice.

So smile.

*indicates name change