Be happy, part 2
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It is so, so much easier to be happy.
The other day, a gentleman came into work and demanded that he be seated right way. The general rule that we follow is that all or most of a party must be present before we show them to their table. Of course we break that rule every once in a while, but the man standing in front of us in this instance was not going to be one of those people. We repeatedly explained, requested, and finally just told this man (who will remain nameless) that his guest must be in the restaurant before we can seat them. This dude was early for his reservation anyway, and as I remember, we were busy'he would not have been seated aforetime (as some might say) anyway. The only way we would have been able to do so was if he was very, very nice; and very understanding of our situation. We always do the best we can, and of course it is part of our job description to be hospitable and helpful to everyone who comes through the door; but we are people too. We especially enjoy helping those who are pleasant to us as we run around and deal with ten things at once. We enjoy the company of other people, otherwise we would not be able to do the job we do; but we do not like people who are clearly lying to us and who are being . . . unpleasant . . . on top of that.
There's a reason why I'm sharing this story, I promise. A few of us were talking about this after we finally got our guest sat at a table. We all agreed that it would have been much easier for everybody, including the guest, if he had been nicer to us rather than demanding that he be seated right away. He might have even gotten his wish if he hadn't been made to stand and wait; and he was made to wait precisely because he was being so unpleasant. He still got sat before his guest arrived, but we could have made him stand there longer.
It is so, so much easier to be happy. If you can't manage that, something approximating it will do. I'm still working on how to manage that'of course it's going to be easier for some people than others. But not impossible, ever. All you gotta do is change how you look at what's around you.
Shawn Palmer, : Shawn Palmer, a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Connecticut College, is an actor, writer, and singer. While at school she was a frequent soloist with the Connecticut College Orchestra and understudied several roles with the Connecticut Lyric Opera. She also studied away at the British American Drama Academy during her junior year. Acting credits include Catherine (Proof) and Lucia (Mad Forest). In college she worked as a writing tutor, and her play Amontillado (based on Edgar Allan Poe's short... (more...)