I’m a Barbie girl

A smile goes a long way

Working in retail has taught me three things: you cannot mix food and chemicals, a coupon can only be used a maximum of four times and people really need to lighten up. 

I spend every day working in a pool of stress. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the door ding and I turn to greet an angry face. 

The customer I’m greeting will either see me and look away, or worse, just walk past as if they didn’t hear me at all. Excuse me? That’s not okay. 

Because of school, I only work Friday through Sunday so, thankfully, I don’t have to deal with that as often—or so I thought. I arrived on campus and since day one I constantly encounter grumpy faces. 

Maybe you haven’t had your caffeine yet, or maybe you’ve had seven classes and are on your way to work, I don’t know. What I do know is that life is too short to be unfriendly to people. 

True, sometimes I feel like Barbie from that Toy Story movie when the credits are rolling and her face hurts from smiling so much. I’d rather have the tiniest possibility of making someone’s day than the greater chance of making it worse. 

I spend every day stressed and some days I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. People may not think small gestures are any gesture at all but that’s not true. 

I remember one year I was having a horrible day and I’ll admit, I was not smiling at strangers as they walked by. 

I had just driven up to school and my arms were full of bags and books for the week and as I walked up to the door of my building I was stressing about how I was going to slide my student ID to get inside. Just as I was near tears from the cherry on top of a horrible day, this student was leaving the building and saw I had my arms full and offered to carry some of it and opened the door for me. 

That made my day. 

Ever since, I wonder how many other students feel how I felt that day and are just trying to find some little bit of good to hold onto to push through the weeks. 

So, I smile. I say hello and open doors when I can. It’s the smallest of things that truly go a long way.

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