Monday, 10 November 2014

Extract a Smile Week

 
shy, but pleased

We are having a "Be Kind" week at our library.  I couldn't quite relate to this so I shall simply up the ante on my ongoing  "Extract a Smile" campaign. We do not have much of a "Service with a Smile" ethic in our society at the moment: many in the so-called Service Industries seem to have such deep chips on their shoulders that they must be in constant pain so rare are their smiles.  So I try to extract a smile wherever I go: my main targets are the cashiers at our supermarkets. I've tried all sorts of gambits but I find compliments work best. There's nothing like one woman saying to another, "I must just tell you how nice/smart/beautiful you look today," or "you look fabulous in that outfit" (this to passers-by, and yes, I do waylay some surprised women to do this.) It always results in a dazzling smile. Most of us have given up expecting compliments from the men in our lives. For some reason, I only approach older men in a similar vein, sensing that they probably grew up the way I did - be polite and always greet strangers (perhaps life was more innocent then). I don't include the young in my policy - after all, they have everything going for them, namely all the advantages of youth. Besides, they would be suspicious and think me nuts. I suppose the main reason I do this kind of thing is that I don't have much contact with people during the day. I am not very social, I don't belong to any clubs: in fact, I only have one friend that I see regularly  (story of my life wherever I've lived), so sometimes I like to reach out as long as it is just a passing thing. I suppose I should also try to extract more smiles from my husband - he is finding his last weeks at work very stressful, but he's a harder nut to crack. Misery likes company so when he comes home I am all serious face and sympathy - which seems to cheer him up. 

6 comments:

  1. It's a worthy effort: we have no idea the burdens and hurts others carry and how much a kind word, smile or compliment can mean!

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    1. And my mother, who was quite content really, was always being asked what was wrong as she got older because the age lines on her face tended to settle into disapproving lines. (Or not?) Maybe she should have tried to smile more. She was quite strict when we were young.

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  2. Smiles are nice. I hate it when a stranger commands me to smile though.

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    1. Agree. A blundering, direct command is awful.

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  3. One good friend is all you need, far better than a dozen "social" friends.

    I am in the Olga club regarding smiles. I also get hot under the collar when someone uses my name needlessly. Bank transactions, casual purchases does not give one the right to use my name. And if you really want to piss me off use my first name. It is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. I dislike phony intimacy.

    It is nice of you to compliment people though.

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    1. And I thought it was very American to use first names? I am also 'old school'. It's 'Mrs' for all business transactions including our doctor of 20 years. The only time I accept 'Smile!" is for the camera. That's because all my life I hated a front tooth that stuck out. Since I've had it fixed, I can't smile enough.

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