Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Happiness in the workplace

There is a middle-aged man who works at the free valet parking lot on campus. I have only known him for 3 weeks, but he has made such an impression on me. He is always smiling and happy, greeting everyone who bring their car in. He is there from 9am to 7pm almost every day. By the second time I used their valet service, he has already remembered my name. Nowadays, when he sees me pulling in, he would wave and shout across the parking lot, "Good morning, Rosanna!". I see him do the same with several other people too. Furthermore, he takes the effort to park my car into the next shaded lot that becomes available over the day, and I suspect he might remember my work schedule ("Going home so late/early today?").
Why I am writing about him is because I feel that he is the regular-guy embodiment of "deriving happiness from your job". I cannot think of many reasons why someone would grow up wanting to be a valet; it probably does not pay very well, and it is hard to say even at an interview, "It is my dream to serve others by helping to park their car". And believe me when I say his work is not easy either; he is out there in the open (besides their single picnic umbrella) the entire day, whether it is hot or cold that day. There is a high chair that he can sit in, but how comfortable can that really be, compared to our office environment? I can imagine many people with that job who would simply go through their job every day, just waiting to knock off, being curt, or even rude, and uncaring about who comes by. But not him. He is not only professional, but meticulous, friendly and happy. And really, sometimes that can be just the thing that makes someone else's day too! What a difference a shift in attitude makes! 

He is an inspiration, and encourages me to remember to find reasons to like what I do, even when the going gets tough. Of course, doing what you like is important too, but not everything in life goes smoothly all the time, does it?

I think I will bring him a cookie next time. =)

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