It often seems easier to focus on the negative interactions in life versus the more positive ones. Especially over this past year, the horror that was 2020, it is important to focus on the positive moments. I find that some of my most memorable moments with people are with strangers. Sure, family and friends create endless memories that make a subconscious lasting impact on our lives, but interactions with unknown people can make or break my day.
With a retail and service background in the food industry, making conversation with strangers is a huge part of my job! Having a bad day while working can create tension in your voice or movements, which are aspects of a personality that are unprofessional and off-putting to customers. Because of this, I have gathered a considerable amount of respect for those who work around the general public, as we encounter all kinds of characters.
Since the start of my senior year, I have religiously gone to the same Dunkin Donuts drive-through every morning. The uniqueness of my never-changing food order has created a sense of bonding with the employees at that location. A bond to the point that they can complete the rest of my order at the drive-through before I can even finish speaking. I count on this Dunkin Donuts to get me through my world of online school and inability to cook for myself.
But on a November morning, I raced over to my favorite drive-through like every other morning, approaching the pick-up window that came to a total of eight dollars. Reaching into my wallet, I felt a sense of panic. I didn’t have enough money. Some days are better than others, and on this particular morning, my day had seemed to implode on itself. My lack of funds was the cherry on top of this disaster cake.
“I’m so sorry I don’t have enough money. This is so embarrassing,” I said to the worker.
The familiar cashier smiled at me and responded, “I see you every day; just give me what you have. It’ll be alright.”
Tossing my four dollars into the window, the cashier waved and wished me a great rest of my day. I haven’t forgotten about this interaction, and in fact, it creates a friendly relationship for the rest of my morning at that Dunkin drive-through. A small act of kindness can go a long way for anyone, so I encourage everyone to act on good instincts whenever they can!