Monday, December 01, 2008

Hello, Everybody

By Joe Kita


It's one of the first words we learn as babies, yet it's one of the last ones we think to use as adults. In our never-ending rush to get something or somewhere, it seems we don't have time anymore for this most basic of gestures. And that's unfortunate, because saying hello is more than just saying hello. It is an acknowledgment of existence. It is a pause, however brief, to affirm another's worth (and have yours affirmed in return). How might the world change-how might we change—if we mastered this word? To find out, I spent one month saying hello to every person I met. That meant strangers on the street, people in cyberspace, and even myself in the mirror every morning. Here's what I learned:


Timothy Smith said...

Great article. When I am being waited on when shipping packages or dealing with customer support I try and be as friendly as possible, it makes a difference. Whenever they apologize for a wait I always respond "don't worry about it, take your time".

If you are friendly and respect others people tend to respond in kind.

People who are friendly don't have to worry about packages being handled poorly or spit in their food when they send it back.

Thomas said...

Excellent points, Mr. Smith. As a cashier at Premiere Video many years ago, I always appreciated it when a customer would say "Hi" (or "Wassup") instead of just placing the videos on the counter waiting for me to ring them up.

Sarah said...

it amazing how surprised fast food employees are when you give them a simple and sincere "thank you" after placing your drive-thru order.

Sarah said...

oh yeah, and DE PLANE! DE PLANE!

Thomas said...

Sarah, the "Fantasy Island" reference is no coincidence. Last week at Best Buy, a friend said he'd buy me any CD or DVD that was priced $25 or less as a late birthday present. I've gotten a mess of CD's lately (Enrique Iglesias' Greatest Hits, most notably), so decided I'd go the DVD route.

Since "Prison Break Season 2" was too costly, I opted for Season 1 of "Fantasy Island" in a collectible lunchbox. I just started watching it over the past few days and look forward to continuing the journey as Christmas draws near.

Rocketstar said...

Hello Thomas.

Timothy Smith said...

I think that's the secret Tom, having a daily grind job at least once in your life.

I worked fast food, bus boy jobs, cab driver, pizza delivery etc. Low pay but with lots of interaction with people. I enjoyed those jobs more then the high pay jobs all by myself (cleaning barges, auto mechanics etc).

My brother thinks everyone should have to work a fast food job at least once.

Thomas said...

Rocket, I was hoping someone would say that.

Tim, can't help but agree with you. Either a fast food job or a call center one.

Brian said...

Loved this entry. You are right, people just don't take the time to say hello much anymore.

When I started working in my new job with the Guard, out of the 50 or so people there, only 2 or 3 of them actually spoke to me. Talk about awkward situation. There isn't anything more uncomfortable than when I say hello to someone and get no return.

Thomas said...

Brian, if someone doesn't say "Hello" back to me, I always say, "Hey, I'm talkin' to you, you Irish bug. What, you think you're better than me?!"

JK, but imagine the reactions if I did.