It had been a long day. The ACT in the morning, a pauso date (which shouldn't really belong in this particular list on account of the rest of the listed items' connotations; this was quite enjoyable, but it did add to the general amount of stuff in my day), being flung from a teeter totter (but this happened after work, so it ought to be cheating to write, too), answering for Homecoming and five hours of work kinda builds up on you.
Three hours into work, my manager came up to my co-worker and me and declared that the victor of a two out of three rock, paper, scissors tournament could get off early.
So, as my last link to conversation clocked out and left with a skip in his step, I continued taking customers' orders, sympathizing with frustrated BYU fans and politely averting my gaze when couples--of which there seems to be no end on Saturday nights--discussed what they wanted to get with far more interaction that was completely necessary.
I wasn't unhappy. I just wasn't as upbeat as I normally try to be on counter. Then this one guy's order changed my perspective.
He was with a girl, but wasn't awkwardly all over her (as so many, for some reason, feel obligated to be. But that is a rant for a different post). He was polite and friendly and ordered without conflict. As I was sliding his credit card and waiting for the receipt to print, he smiled kindly at me. "How are you?"
Most people greet me somehow. The general gist is this: Someone walks in, I say, "How are you today?" Staring at the menu, they wander forward and say, "How are ya, I'd like a chicken sandwich, and that doesn't have onions, right?" Some even cut straight to the food without bothering with common niceties. But this guy was sincere. He was asking me how I was and looking at me and waiting for a response. It wasn't remotely flirtatious. He didn't even seem to be trying to impress the girl at his side. He genuinely wanted to know how I, a random little minimum-wage-earning cashier, was.
"I'm doing well," I said, smiling at him and offering him his ticket. I felt the sudden desire to tell him about losing the rock, paper, scissors tournament or mention that I was just a little worried about being able to finish all my homework. I didn't, of course. He walked away after that. But I still trusted him. I saw in him a genuineness that I've never seen to that degree in a stranger before. It was frankly inspiring. I want to be that person someday. Someday soon.