First day on the job

 

On a recent trip to Boston, I was running late and hailed a cab to take me to the train station.

The driver had some questions for me, seeming a little unsure of the best route to get me where I needed to go.  I’m not from the area, so he called someone to help guide him at a couple of points along the way.

I could have been impatient.  I had a train to catch.

Instead, we chatted about the news on the radio and the buildings we passed.  Since things looked familiar to me, I knew we would get to where we needed to go and I’d have enough time to catch my train.

After the second call to confirm a street we needed to take, I asked him how long he had been driving a cab in the city.

“Today’s my first day.”

He was so pleasant, determined to get me where I needed to go and make it a good experience.  He was also appreciative, telling me that I had helped make his first day a positive one.  He came here from Ghana, new to our country and unsure of what kind of reception he would receive.

I did my part to make that reception a welcoming one.  And I didn’t even realize it.

How often do we engage with someone, not knowing the context of his or her day?  Allowing our context to drive how we engage?

This gentleman from Ghana reminded me that we always have a choice to be patient and kind, thoughtful and considerate to others.  As if today was their first day on the job.  Every day.