How do you treat people?

As we own and operate a small business, we both tend to wear many hats. For me, it means I answer the phone, reply to emails, write articles as well as my own column, I’m asked to be the guest speaker at clubs and groups, I take photos, I judge competitions, and I deliver bulk drop offs of our publications to local businesses.

And it’s interesting to note the different ways I am treated by others, depending on what hat I am wearing.

Most notable is the difference between the ‘public’ appearances and when I am delivering.

When I’m the speaker, I am treated with respect – given meals, drinks, sat at the best table, introduced with fanfare and generally fussed over.

When I am the deliverer, I am treated with little regard – not everyone says thank you, or looks up from their desk, or smiles or is even very polite. Generally, I am invisible.

Isn’t it interesting? I am being treated according to what people think my ‘station in life’ is, to use an old fashioned term.

I am not judged or spoken to because of who I am, but rather for what I am doing.

I’m still the same. I’m still me regardless of what activity I’m currently engaged in.

Just because I’m delivering a bundle of local community newsmagazines to a shop counter, doesn’t mean I suspend my ability to be articulate or intelligent and knowledgeable about a subject.

At Christmas time, it’s easy to get so caught up in our own busyness that we forget the people across the counter are people just like us and deserving of respect.

This Christmas season, how about we treat those in ‘service’ to us, indeed, everyone we come across, exactly as we would like to be treated – as a person. Full stop. End of story. No qualifier needed.

4 thoughts on “How do you treat people?

  1. I usually treat all people with the respect every human deserves (except rude people as I mentioned in a previous comment, in a previous post!). I am good friends with service people at my work place – those that make the coffee every morning, those that replace light bulbs, those that put food up in the cafeteria, those that serve our disabled clients. They are the backbone of the company. I smile and say hello to everyone I meet in the hallways. Outside, in public, same. Whether you have a college ed or not, whether you are the CEO or the floor sweeper, you deserve respect. I will take this post into and beyond the Christmas season and continue to be nice to all.

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    • I like the show ‘undercover’ boss for this reason. It really highlights how people are treated from both sides of the fence. Like you say, educated, uneducated, old, young or in between – we are all deserving of respect.

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  2. The most profound difference I’ve ever seen was when I was young, very poor, and working part time at a state mental hospital. I often accompanied patients to the welfare office or on some other official business. As long as I was wearing keys or a name tag or some other form of ID, I was treated courteously. On several occasions I had reason to return to some of those offices on my own time and my own business. Invariably, I’d be ignored, forced to wait, and generally treated poorly. It was an important lesson to learn.

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    • Wow. A very definite example of prejudice! And you’re right, it is such an important lesson to learn. It’s like jobs that have apprentices – either the boss is great to the apprentice because he remembers how he was treated and wants to do it better, or he treats them badly because that’s how he was treated. We choose the lessons we learn. And unfortunately, some choose not to learn any at all.

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