Friday was my dad’s birthday. Without realizing it at the time, I did something good that day that I learned from him.
Much to the chagrin of my cats, my condo association decided to install a new alarm system in the building. So on Friday, an electrician showed up to wire in the new alarm.
Sometimes when I need a repairman, the first thing I do when they arrive is start to describe the problem so they can fix it. I think there’s some level of anxiety associated with the broken aspect of my home that gets in the way of basic human decency. It’s not excuse, but I do that sometimes.
Friday was different, and I’m glad it was, given that it was my dad’s birthday. Dad always introduces himself when a repairman comes to his house. Instead of treating them like a service, he treats them like people.
On Friday, when the electrician arrived, I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Jamey.” He replied with his name and shook my hand. He actually looked a little surprised, as if he wasn’t used to being greeted that way. I thanked him for coming, and I asked him if he needed anything. He said he was fine, and then he got to work.
I know it’s not much. It’s just a small gesture. I think I’m aware of it for myself because I don’t always do that, but I should. I think there are people in a lot of jobs who aren’t often treated with basic human decency. I’m guilty of that, and I can do better. This is a good reminder to me to do so.
Thanks, Dad. Sometimes the most important things I’ve learned from you are those that you do by example.