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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

A smile goes a long way

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I try to be positive.

Some days it works, some days it doesn't.

I'm a big believer in the notion that whatever you put out into the universe will come back to you, so I do my best to be nice, to treat people fairly and to concentrate more on what I do have than what I don't have.

Of course, I get down sometimes.

When I do, I know there's one place I can go and know I'm going to leave feeling better.

It's the Burger King in Greencastle.

The burgers there are just fine, and it's one of the few places in town where I can get a fountain Coke, which I like.

But the menu items aren't the main reason I visit the restaurant.

The main reason I keep going back is Connie.

Connie is a woman who works at the drive-thru. She stands at that first window where they take your money.

I don't know her last name, and I'm relatively certain she has no idea who I am. I first met her in the spring of 2008, right after I moved to town.

She was, hands-down, the friendliest fast food employee I had ever come in contact with.

Over the past 19 months, I've encountered Connie numerous times. I'm horrible at estimating people's ages and I'm certainly not going to try here, but if had to hazard a guess I would say that Connie probably took the Burger King job when she retired from another career.

My mother-in-law has worked in fast food for over 30 years, and to hear her tell it it's no picnic most days.

But you'd never know that by Connie's attitude. She is always sunny. She has a disposition that is downright contagious.

In the warmer months if there's been no one behind me in line, she will actually have a little conversation with me at the window. She's told me how much she likes baked potato chips. She's commented on how pretty my sweaters were. She's asked me how I liked the weather.

If I have to get lunch on the fly, I will actually do it at Burger King just so I can see Connie, especially of I'm having a bad day.

She has actually turned my bad mood around more than once, just by being who she is.

And I just don't think someone who is that pleasant can be faking it.

Anyone who knows me well knows that cute isn't my thing -- and that applies to calling me things like "Sweetie" or "Honey."

My theory has always been that unless you are married to me or gave birth to me, you shouldn't have pet names for me.

But when Connie does it, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I was feeling a little frustrated this morning, so when lunchtime rolled around I thought I'd drive over to BK and see if Connie was working.

She was. It was frigidly cold, so I knew she wasn't going to hold the window open and talk to me for any length of time, but she did give me a hearty hello and a wide smile before she took my debit card, and she gave me a heartfelt "You have a nice day now" as she handed it back.

And you know what? I have no doubt in my mind that she meant it.

Connie is obviously someone who is very happy, very content with where she and what she's doing. She knows her job is about customer service, and she delivers.

I've often thought that if she were working for tips, she'd be making a killing.

In my opinion, the world would be a much better place if all of us took a page from Connie's book. Do your job, do it well, be thankful for it and be nice to people.

It's so simple, yet it can make such a difference.

Jamie Barrand is the editor of the Banner Graphic. She can be contacted at 653-5151 or jbarrand@bannergraphic.com.