One day, I was taking a train. I got on at one of those little milk run stops between two cities. It was one of those little stops where you bought your ticket at the station before you boarded.
Once on the train, after a few minutes, I could hear a man coming up the aisle, calling out “Tickets please, tickets.”
He was an older gentleman with white hair and a pleasant demeanour. He, of course, looked very official in his deep blue and red suit and conductor’s cap.
By the look of him, you could imagine that he had done that walk up the train aisles hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
When he got to me, he asked me how I was. “Fine, thank you,” I said, a rather standard response that doesn’t really tell anyone how you are.
I said, “How are YOU doing today? He answered”, Oh, I have my moments.”
I’m not sure why this rather unusual response has stuck with me all these years. But I remember thinking at the time, “What a great response”.
It seemed to say that there were some occasional highlights in his day and that was good enough for him.
He seemed happy and content.
Like many of you this time of year, I recently got back from a summer holiday.
One of the constants for our family while on holiday is eating in restaurants. And aside from enjoying a great meal, I find restaurants to be a great place to see engagement and collaboration in action all built around the biggy – customer service.
One night, a particular place stood out for me, not just because of the great food but because of the amazing service.
The star of the night (other than the food) was our waiter.
Supremely confident, knowledgeable, and obviously unflappable. I couldn’t help but notice how happy he was. He was laughing, smiling and carrying on, having great interactions with every table. I had to know how he got through these nights and more importantly I had to know his secret to be being so happy at work.