I learned an important lesson today. This morning I went to Santander Bank in downtown Boston on the corner of Tremont and Beacon Street, as I’ve done many times before. I was greeted by a charming security guard who opened the main door for me and she greeted me with a big smile as always.
At this particular branch, the inner door to enter the bank is always locked and needs to be opened by the bank manager or teller. As I was waiting to enter into the bank I told the guard that I was impressed by how she always has a happy disposition and always greets me with a smile.
As we were both standing waiting for the bank manager to open the inner door, I asked her do you ever get bored? She said no, I love my job.
After my bank transaction, I was walking back to my office and I realized i jumped to the wrong assumptions with the friendly security guard.
But before I tell you the lessons I learned let me share with you another short story;
This is a true story. Some years ago the following exchange was broadcast on a sociology TV program.
An interviewer was talking to a female production-line worker in a biscuit factory. The dialogue went like this:
Interviewer: How long have you worked here?
Production Lady: Since I left school (probably about 15 years).
Interviewer: What do you do?
Production Lady: I take packets of biscuits off the conveyor belt and put them into cardboard boxes.
Interviewer: Have you always done the same job?
Production Lady: Yes.
Interviewer: Do you enjoy it?
Production Lady: Oooh Yes, it’s great, everyone is so nice and friendly, we have a good laugh.
Interviewer (with a hint of disbelief): Really? Don’t you find it a bit boring?
Production Lady: Oh no, sometimes they change the biscuits…
So the lessons I learned going to Santander Bank today:
- Do not impose your own needs and ambitions on to other people who may not share them.
- Don’t assume that things that motivate you will motivate someone else.
- Recognize that sources of happiness may vary widely between people.