Studying people; the how’s, what’s and why’s can be so fascinating at times.
Monday, upon settling in my room at the Philadelphia Marriott, I asked the cleaning woman if she’d like to make $5 for ironing my shirt. I truly despise ironing and would rather pay someone to do it who would rather have the $5 than than they would to not iron my shirt. 🙂
She was delightful and did a great job. When I handed her the $5 she tried to refuse it saying, “It’s on the house.” Why she said that, I don’t know, but of course there was no way that was going to happen. I had to explain, however, that she would be doing me a favor by taking the money. Only then would she would accept it.
Apparently, she simply appreciated the opportunity to be employed and make a living and wanted to add as much value to the experience of a guest as she could. At the same time, she should be compensated for her time and professional skills, but her attitude was certainly admirable.
Then, yesterday afternoon, flying to Philadelphia, I heard (as could practically everyone) the man sitting in back of me and to the right complaining to his seat mate about having a window seat. “I hate window seats!” he said.
Okay, I can relate, but he was sitting in First Class, with plenty of room in the seat and – while First Class certainly doesn’t have the perks it used to, it’s still better than sitting in a cramped seat. And it’s better than taking the bus…or walking…in a hurricane or in the desert.
After the flight landed, he called his assistant and lambasted her for getting him a window seat and ordered her to make sure “it didn’t happen” to him again. Then, when I saw him in baggage claim, he was complaining about something else to the person who had met him.
The guy could suck all the energy out of a room faster than…well, faster than someone could suck all the energy out of a room (I’m afraid I’m not very good at coming up with clever analogies on the spot). 🙂
Two people; two attitudes and – as far as I could tell – two totally different altitudes. At least of inner peace. In that regard, the cleaning professional at the Marriott soars way above the other one.
Thought: Please don’t falsely conclude from this that “poor people are happy and wealthy people are not.” Both can be happy; both can be miserable. It does show – in my opinion – that gratitude for our lot and situation has a lot to do with how happy we are. And, of course, the guy in the plane just might very naturally be a person who looks at the negative side of everything.