I got to thinking about what type of person I would have pictured meeting and greeting visitors at the luxurious main reception desk of a huge, new, metropolis hospital I stopped at last week.
A: a poker-faced security guard
B: a straight-laced, no-nonsense elderly woman with her hair up in a bun and glasses way down on her nose
C: a hip, pretty young chic with perfect hair, makeup and manicured nails smiling seductively
D: or how about a cheerful, late 50-something gentlemen with a sunny disposition, a chipper Morgan Freeman-type voice and a twinkle in his eye?
The answer, of course, turned out to be: D.
As I waited in the reception area to pick someone up, I had the pleasure of witnessing a real angel in action. His mission seemed to be sprinkling good cheer and laughter to anyone who crossed his path.
Everyone who worked there seemed to know him, and he knew most of them by name along with little details about them. “Well, good morning to you, Doc,” he sing-songed to a tired-looking doctor in surgical gear. “You go home and have a wonderful day. Play ball with that little boy of yours. And don’t forget to get some rest.”
“Oh, now, let me take a look at that handsome little gentleman,” he said to the new mom and dad taking their newborn baby home. He walked out from behind the desk, and I noticed his pronounced limp. I wondered what he’d been through. Whatever it was, it hadn’t affected his demeanor. “He’s going to bring you lots of joy,” he continued. “ I’m going to see my grandson this weekend, and I can’t wait.”
“And how can I help you get to where you need to go?” he asked a bewildered-looking older man coming to visit his sick wife. He then gave the man explicit directions to her room and repeated them again so the man would get it right.
“The cafe is right over there,” he directed two younger girls looking for the cafeteria. “They make the most delicious desserts. Be sure to treat yourselves!”
His upbeat attitude was infectious – nothing but sweet and nice and positive and kind. It was hard not to smile as I watched him interact with those around him. One woman giving her visitor’s pass back said to him, “You have made this whole trip to the hospital so much more enjoyable. I am so glad to have met you.” He tipped his imaginary hat and said, “Thank you, kindly, madam. You just made my whole day!”
“Go out dancing this weekend…its important!” he called out to two stiff-looking salesmen in three-piece suits as they rushed past his desk. They paused and looked over their shoulders at the neatly dressed receptionist who was grinning from ear to ear. They actually cracked smiles and their faces didn’t even break!
I never even got his name, but I waved to him as I left. He broke out into a huge grin and said, “Now promise me you’ll enjoy this perfect day!” I promised him I would.
So, I’m thinking I might go out dancing this weekend…it’s important…how about you?