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The Simple Things

A lot of people ask me what brings me all the way to the States to get my degree. I've always known the answer, but it got lost along the way. I remembered today.
There is this elderly lady who serves food at a particular stall in the cafeteria. I must say her warm smile and motherly love is a major factor in my lunch decisions everyday. I remembered when my family and I went to Anaheim a number of years back, and we had to find something to eat in the middle of the night. We went to the hotel restaurant and there was this one waitress, who though tired, served us with such wonderful hospitality. I knew then that we as Asians have something to learn from people on this part of the world. The bus driver in Hawaii, the cashier at circle-K, the manager at Carl's Jr., and so many others. Somehow the service is so much better here. It's more sincere, and the elderly lady takes time every single day to talk to me and ask me how my day was etc. She does this for everyone, but for that one moment, I felt special. The guy at Circle-K jokes with me every time I get my foodstuffs there. They are people who do not know my name, or as a person, but have taken time to make my interaction with them pleasant. There's also a love for their jobs, whether big or small.
Come to think of it, I'm beginning to think that the bigger the job, the less joy one exuberates doing it. It's hard to find a high-level manager giving that extra amount of personal attention. It's sad isn't it? We strive for the better jobs that pay better, and somehow they give so little joy to everyone else around. I've contemplated being a food hawker (someone who sells food from a small stall), inspired by the chicken-rice (a favourite Singapore food) seller I so often eat at. He's one of the few I've seen who serves with a smile, and remembers exactly what Faith and I have every time I go there.
I've come so far to obtain a business degree, and yet I see none of this being taught in the classrooms. I'll keep reminding myself, lest I forget, that it is these small things that make life bearable. It's not solely for the money, it's so that we all can life a happier life.

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