Through a series of unforseen circumstances yesterday, I ended up walking to a nearby McDonald’s for my lunch break. First you need to know that I rarely eat at McDonald’s (though I do drive through frequently for drinks) and I almost never eat inside of a McDonald’s. Yesterday, however, I did both.
Little did I know I would spend the next half hour being inspired by one of the men that worked there. He was one of the first employees I saw. He was diligently mopping the floor in front of the registers, which I thought was rather odd at that time of day. With mop and bucket he would do a section and then back up to do the next. He would have backed right into me had I not moved. He seemed oblivious to those of us standing there waiting to order but I didn’t think any more about it.
I got my food and went to find a seat. It had been a L-O-N-G time since I had been inside, so I had no idea why most everyone was facing one direction. I discovered it was because of a large flat screen tv. Especially those who were eating alone were seated so that they could watch tv while they ate their lunch. As the employee with mop and bucket came back into my view, I decided to watch him instead.
It was then that I realized he was what we would call "slow," or "developmentally disabled," though he was more than able to do his job and do it well. Whatever physical disability he had made it look like he was dancing instead of walking. It was not a bad thing. It warmed my heart and made me smile. Although he was attentive to his cleaning, he would ask everybody if they had everything they needed as they came across his path. For me, it was when I went to get an extra napkin. I smiled and thanked him for asking, assuring him that I did indeed have what I needed. He posted himself near the trash cans, diligently cleaning each tray that was returned, encouraging everyone to have a good day. I actually went out of the door furthest away from him and he still called out to me, "Thank you ma’am… have a good day!" Once again, I turned, smiled and thanked him.
I walked back to work inspired by this man. He did his job well while still paying attention to the people that surrounded him. There was something about him that made me think to myself, "I want to be like him when I grow up!" I often find myself thinking more about what I am not able to do than what I can do! It was clear that he was not thinking that way; he instead operated out of what he knew he could do and did it to the best of his ability. Yep, that’s what I want to do!
Someone once said, "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Perhaps that is what I saw in this employee – pure enthusiasm. I also saw diligence, perseverence and cheerfulness. Many would not think that a job at McDonald’s is a great thing or an achievement. For this man, it was. He made me ask myself… is my attitude worth noticing and do I inspire people as I do my job? I would want the answer to be yes, though I can’t say it always is. So, I will keep doing the best job I can with what I’ve been given and endeavor to encourage those who come across my path. I want to have attitudes that are worth catching! Then, maybe I really will be like him when I grow up!
I will be out of town next week, but will post again on October 30. Until then… take good care of each other!