In my younger days I worked in a supermarket, and I absolutely hated it with a passion. But, I remember learning very early on, that if I smiled and pretended I enjoyed it – it actually improved my mood, and I ended up finishing my days feeling genuinely happy.
Anyway, I remember when they released citrus scents for toilet air fresher – yes, this was a big deal and very exciting when nothing else of note ever happened in supermarkets! Having a toilet freshener that smelled like fruit was such a way-out crazy idea, after years of rose, lavender and floral scents. I commented to one customer, that is was so nice to have a different smell in the bathroom – meaning other than lavender and floral scents. She spat back at me, “Well if you clean your bathroom it doesn’t smell!”
Woah … hold up a minute! I was horrified – how could such a harmless comment cause such a massive explosion of hate? I was so genuinely confused at this attack. I ended up saying something else which I forget, which further enraged her.
It made me stop and think, that just because I know what I mean – it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else see’s it the same way I do. It surprised and intrigued me that a throw-away comment I thought was friendly and innocent, could be interpreted so differently that it upset and disgusted someone in such an intense way.
And I guess in some situations, even pretending to smile doesn’t trick you into feeling happy. Mind you – when I think back on the look of absolute shock that must have been on my face – I can’t help but laugh!