Monday, March 13, 2006

Spreading Sunshine

Besides writing, I am also in the medical field. I work approximately three to four hours a day for a paramedical company. Most of my work involves centrifuging and shipping blood, urine and drug-screening specimens. But, sometimes, I do electrocardiograms on people who are buying life, disability or health insurance.

Today, I had such an appt. And the woman (about my age) I went to see was in a very bad mood and by golly, she was going to make sure I knew it.

She proceeded to make my life miserable. She was negative. She was downright rude and nasty. Everything I asked her to do, she would complain loudly and tell me that she never did it that way last time she had the exam.

I decided to continue to smile and be nice and make her my project for the day -- I was determined to make her say something nice or at least make her smile.

The exam part was professional. I took her blood pressure and tried to say little things to her but she ignored me or sneered at me or just glared at me. I responded each time with a smile.
(I can be stubborn too - I figured the more I smiled and the nicer I was - the angrier she was getting - and to be honest, I wanted to laugh.)

When we got to the EKG - I commented on her cute monkey socks (she glared at me) and I chatted about my daughter loving monkeys.

It wasn't until I mentioned my daughter was Down Syndrome that she started to relax. I saw that it worked and I told them how she was just like a little monkey, always wrapping herself around me as a baby.

By the time we were done with the EKG, she was a different person. She thanked me for the exam and apologized several times about not being in a good mood when I arrived. I just smiled and said I hadn't really noticed, that I just figured she was nervous -- after all, I probably would be if some stranger came to my home to take my blood and have me semi undress. She started to laugh...just a little. I smiled, walked to the door and told her to have a great day. Her smile was so sincere by this time and she wished me a good day.

I got to my car and as I drove away, I felt really happy. I could have let that woman ruin my day. I could have cussed all the way home (Ok, I don't cuss)

So, next time you meet someone who appears to be miserable - just bear it. Remember, you'll soon leave. But in the meantime, see if you can make it your mission to bring a little sunshine to their life. If you succeed, you'll both feel great.

I'd like to think she went on to have a great day. I know I did.

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