Earlier this week, I was running late and only had fifteen minutes before my next class started. I stopped at Weisenfluh to quickly grab something. I could see that the line at Elia was long and full of disgruntled, overheated people. There was only one person working behind the counter. I reached the front of the line in a bit of time. He took his time to politely ask what I needed, took my request for a smoothie and, smiling all the while, assured me that my order was coming right up. After taking a few more orders, he hurried over to the blender and had my smoothie ready in about thirty seconds. As a final touch, he took a Sharpie and wrote “Have a Great Day!!” with that cute little double exclamation mark smiley face thing that people do. This wasn’t my first time visiting Elia with this guy working. He does this with EVERY cup. Despite being constrained by time and staring down a long line of people, he adds this personal touch to each drink order.
I wanted to use this week’s column to commend those people that I believe deserve more recognition for what they do. Here’s just a small salute to a few of the under-appreciated individuals who go out of their way to make our lives easier:
1. General Food Service Employees that Smile: See above. I’ve had your job before; it sucks. Way to grin through it all.
2. Maintenance Workers/Cleaning Staff: There are people on this campus who don’t realize there is a time before 4 a.m. The cleaning staff shows up bright and early every day around this time. If I woke up this time every morning I would be incomprehensible, but there they are, offering a cheery wave as they push their cleaning carts past the front desk. I bet you didn’t realize that the cleaning staff shines the walls of the elevators, scrubs the walls of the stairwells, deals with mysterious stains in the hallways, and answers to every beck and call that Residence Life reports as a problem. Whatever you get paid, it’s definitely not enough.
3. That One Professor You Want to Be When You Grow Up: Okay, technically we are adults, but you know what I mean. They’re the person you’d like to be in ten years. Maybe you met them freshman year. Maybe for our new students at SRU, you met them just last week and knew instantly that you wanted to live your life vicariously through them. Either way, they’ve helped you transition through your toughest times and term papers. They’ve inspired you and assured you to follow your passions. Dr. A, thank you for everything.
4. Random Do-Gooders: Those majestic creatures that prance around campus with a song in their hearts, doing whatever they can to improve the world through the smallest actions. They give out compliments to people they don’t know. They stop to help you pick up your books that you dropped all over the floor. As an advocate for the Golden Rule, I can honestly say that we need more people like you in this life.
5. Your Parents: Call them. They love and miss you.
If you see any of these people in the next few days, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate what they do for you. You never know when they might leave your life, so you might as well tell them now.