Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Simple "Hello!"

You can tell a lot about a man by the way he enters, and leaves the workplace.
Years ago when I was just a pup with a tie, I learned a valuable lesson from Peter Hunt, a seasoned veteran of the restaurant industry.  He used to arrive for a shift all smiles and shaking hands, saying "hi" to everyone and sharing a story or a laugh.  When he left, it was the same, all "goodnight!", and "thanks for your work today!"  (Contrast that to a boss who once took until two in the afternoon to acknowledge my presence, and we'd been in the office together since 9 a.m.)  But I'm not one to learn by example, or wasn't at the time.  It took Peter to tell me what I missing.  And it took my last shift before Christmas, when I left without saying goodnight, tired and weary, and Peter chased me out into the snow and called my name, "Jeremy!" 

I turned to see what I had forgotten, and he came up to me, shook my hand, and said simply, "Merry Christmas." 

Since that day, and every work day since, I made it my goal to never enter the office, the kitchen, the hotel - the workplace, without a greeting to everyone present, (and sometimes that means going looking for them), or left for the night without stopping by every desk, cubicle, office, section of the restaurant or into the depths of the walk-in freezer, without saying goodnight.

Thanks Peter.

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