The Power of A Smile

November 19, 2007

This morning I forgot my parking transponder and work badge. Naturally I didn't discover this oversight until I was completely downtown, 25 miles from home. And, this being Monday, I had an eight o'clock meeting meaning no time to return home to retrieve them.

A bumpy start to the week.

Deciding that half a day in the pay lot was cheaper than a full day in the pay lot, I went out after lunch to move the car to the lot used by new employees while they are in training. It's two blocks further away from the building, but since we are having spring-like weather today, it would be a pleasant two-block walk.

When I got to the exit of the parking ramp the parking lady greeted me and asked where my transponder was. I explained that I'd left it in the other car and so I was without today. She said that she wasn't going to charge me. All she wanted was for me to write my name, work location, and work phone number on the ticket. Free parking. All as a result, I believe, of a morning smile and wave.

You see, ever since I've been parking in this lot, I've taken the time to wave and smile at her as I go past her booth in the mornings. She always has a big smile in return, and a wave of her own. The world is full of good people, we just have to open ourselves to the possibility and they will be in our lives. My leaving my badges at home is making today a bit awkward, but my life is enriched because I was helped by someone I smile to every day.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.