Honey vs. Vinegar

Last week, I had the chance to work with someone with whom I’d only chatted in passing.  I thought he was a good guy from the few words we’d exchanged, but I had no idea who he really was.

Until I was able to work with him for half of a shift.

He had worked the early morning shift at his regular position.  My cart attendant called in sick, and we weren’t able to find anyone to replace him.  The store manager asked Anthony if he would take the shift, and he agreed.

Let me take a moment to describe Anthony.  Every part of him has some sort of tatoo on it, his piercings are extensive, and he’s got a mohawk.  He’s probably 25 years old and he wears clothes most of us wouldn’t dare try to get away with.

And he’s one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  He seems to be eternally happy, always willing to help, and offers praise when due.  He’s friendly and outgoing.  I really admire him.

Don’t get me wrong – TOTALLY not my type and I’m not his (he prefers men), but I still admire him on a human level.

This is what I knew of Anthony before I was able to work with him.  It was then that my admiration of him grew.

Cart Attendant is not a glamorous job and can be downright awful.  Not only do they have to gather the carts, but they also have a whole lot of other tasks to keep them busy.  They gather the carts, rain or shine (in Seattle, it’s more rain than shine), they empty the garbage cans, they take care of “carry-outs” for the guests, and the restrooms are their responsibility. 

Now, the male cart attendants obviously can’t clean the women’s restroom, so they have to take over for a cashier who then has to go clean the restrooms.  Seems like a pretty good deal, right?  Nope.  Normally, the cashiers will give the cart attendant a hard time (“I just did it last hour.”  “I’ve done it three times today.”  “I just got here.” etc).

Anthony worked his magic to sail right past that problem.  “Who wants to be the next “Anthony’s Bathroom Beauty”?” he called out.  Granted, nobody tripped over themselves to volunteer, but he did get a volunteer and she was happy to do so.

I need to remember this lesson.  He made the cashiers see the honey when it really was vinegar in front of them.  He turned this nasty chore into a positive, actually making the cashier smile as she walked toward the restroom.

I hope I am able to figure that lesson out.  Maybe I could actually get my teenagers to do the dishes!

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