Jobs in and of themselves aren't ever extraordinary, but the people who do them sometimes are. Today, I had one such experience.
I was waiting for the shuttle bus to arrive at the airport car rental return in Kansas City. As I headed toward the bus with my small, light carry-on, the shuttle driver disembarked and headed toward me to assist. The bag was light so my initial reaction was to thank him and wave him off. I started to say I was fine, and a huge grin swallowed his face, so I handed him the bag, and he said, "Welcome to my hacienda." It was a surprisingly warm and inviting statement that immediately made me smile. I wondered if he said that every time, or was it just what came to mind in that moment.
As he deftly placed my bag upon the shelf I said, "Thanks, how are you today?" to which he simply replied "I'm blessed." With that, he took his seat at the wheel and called out, "Sit back and relax as we take this brief 3 to 5 minute trip to your airport terminal." I had plenty of time to catch my flight, but thought of the many times in which that had not been the case in the past. How calming that statement would've been. It subtly said, "stop worrying for a moment, there's nothing you need to do, I have this all under control."
As we approached the first terminal he announced the appropriate airlines and added, "Have a safe and enjoyable flight, and whereever you are going, feel free to take some of this snow with you." Though not a young man, he leapt up with every stop to assist with bags and greet the oncoming passengers. As each entered, he was greeted with our ordinary, rushing through life greetings like a barely audible "hello", or the ever common, "hi how are you?" when it is clear we don't really expect or even want a true answer. Yet each time, he said "I am blessed, how are you?" It was such a refreshing and unexpected response that it garnered equally refreshing replies back, some of which seemed to surprise these hardened businessmen even as they delivered them: "Why, I am too, thank you," "awesome actually," "outstanding, thank you sir." I've ridden more than my fair share of shuttles over the years and have never seen more people come to life after long flights, on a cold snowy day than they did being approached by this open, genuine soul.
The man across from me, who had surprised himself as he uttered aloud that he too was indeed quite blessed, smiled the whole ride in anticipation of each unsuspecting passenger encountering our new hero. He and I exchanged a laughing glance as I disembarked to catch my flight. I introduced myself as I handed Jesse the tip he had so clearly earned, (far beyond the many other drivers I have tipped throughout the years). I had to tell him that he made my day, and he shook my hand with that giant grin upon his face, and said, "Thank you so much, Lisa, and you have a blessed day." Of course, thanks to him, I already had.
Countless people provide services to us in innumerable ways along our journey, and we have so many opportunities to do that as well. It's almost incomprehensible how easy it could be to make someone's day, and how rare it is to encounter a person who effortly does it. Who makes your day?
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