OK so the other day someone said to me "have a nice day" and for some reason it kinda slapped me in the face ...I wondered how many times in a day we say that phrase without even really putting any thought into it, so you know me? I decided to count how many times in one day I heard it. I heard people say "have a nice day" at least 40 times in one day, I said it to over 35 people. I kept a little tally in my head, I know the number was higher for how many times I said it because I was at work and I found myself saying it to every single person I talked to on the phone. Not that saying it is a bad thing, just wondering how many times we say things without putting any heart into it.
When Eric and I were a young married couple with 2 children, I remember how much I loved our bishop's wife, she was from Japan. I learned so much from her, one time she told me that Americans are in so much of a hurry to get somewhere that they don't take the time to really listen to each other. I asked her what she meant by that, and she said when she moved to the USA she had to teach herself how to learn English, she learned from watching TV.... (how scary is that?) as she began to interact with other women she said she noticed how we all would say "hey how you doing?" but not stop to hear what the answer was, we would just continue down the aisle at the grocery store, church or work, it really bothered her. I have thought about that so many times since then, wondering how many times I have done that to people. None of us mean to not listen, maybe it's a cultural thing.
OK, so while I was doing my little experiment one of the stops on my list was the FedEx store to mail a package. There was this man in the line in front of me trying to get a package mailed, the beautiful African American girl behind the counter helping him was one of the most patient people I have ever seen. This guy asked her how she was going to guarantee him that his package would get to its destination without being broken or destroyed, she then asked him if he would like to purchase some additional insurance on his package, I will never forget what he said to her...and I will add that his tone of voice was very condescending and sarcastic.
"listen up that is not what I asked you, I know from the color of your skin and by the fact that you are working at a FedEx you probably are having a hard time understanding me, but just answer the question. Am I supposed to tell my friends who are expecting this package when it doesn't show up that the FedEx Chick told me it would get there, sorry?"
Whoa, as fast as lightening the manager came out of the back room and my head swirled around like a person with whiplash, he did not just say that. He stood staring her down as if trying to intimidate her as much as possible, she just smiled handed him his receipt and said "have a nice day" before the manager or myself could say a word he turned around headed out the door and said with a smirk on his face "no, you have a nice day" She looked at me smiled and said "how can I help you?" the manager and I both looked at each other in disbelief, I told her how sorry I was that he had just treated her the way he did, she didn't say much just smiled thanked me and said "have a nice day" WoW what a day for me to try out the "have a nice day" experiment.
I walked out of the FedEx feeling really bad for that young girl, I hope she realizes how beautiful she is and that no one should be allowed to talk her the way he did.