16 December 2009
The true test
I don't know which wise sage said it; but it is true nonetheless. "A person who is nice to you, but is not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person."
I'm skirting a boundary that I don't like to cross here, carefully. And while I'm writing about someone I know now, it applies to any past or future acquaintances, folks who make civilized life possible for the rest of us, as Mike Rowe says so cutely.
I got stopped in the hallway the other day, and the person who stopped me asked where I'd gotten the 'lip balm' I gave to someone I encounter every workday. "Which one?" I asked, confused. "The red and white one, or the one that I made?"
"You made that?" my stopper asked me. "Really?"
"Not the red & white one," I said, "but the one with the label that won't stay put, those I made. The red & white ones are on my desk; the ones I made are in the car. Which one do you want?"
They were asking me about either a lip balm I'd been given by a visiting sales rep or the solid lotion I make; to the uninformed, as I've said, the solid lotion looks like lip balm.
This isn't someone I work with, this is someone who works at "menial" tasks in the building where I work. Last year, I made sure that everyone who works on that crew got the same holiday presents as some of my junior staff members. Just because they aren't technically part of my co-workers, that doesn't mean that I should ignore them.
So today I handed over both the stuff the sales rep gave me (that I really didn't want in the first place, and thus, to me, does not qualify as a mitzvah) and some of my own solid lotion to a few folks who didn't expect to get it, and I did it happily, joyfully.
Spreading some fun and usefulness qualifies, yes? Yes. Indeed.