“Be excellent to each other.” ― Bill and Ted, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Every morning when I see our company mail-room attendant, I ask him how the fishing is. I do this in the winter, I do this when I’ve already seen him twice in a day, I do this as my way of saying hello. It’s the only piece of personal information he’s ever shared with me.
Then, I had a bad day. It was a Tuesday. It was largely work-related, but I didn’t do a good job of masking my emotions. I was angry, and when I passed him for the first time that day, I didn’t ask him how the fishing was. I didn’t even acknowledge him.
As I was packing up my stuff to leave for the day, as fast as I possibly could, he appeared in front of me.
“Adam,” he began. “Are you OK?”
I told him that I was having a very rough day.
“Oh,” he said. “I’m sorry to hear that.” And he shifted his weight, and looked up and down, busied himself with something he was holding, but he didn’t leave.
“Can I help you with something?” I asked, matter-of-factly.
“No, no. It’s just that every day you ask me about the fishing. Well, yesterday was the first time I was able to go since winter, and I was excited to tell you.”
My day instantly changed.
I asked him how it was, he told me.
We talked about his grand kids.
I told him I was sorry I had ignored him earlier, it had nothing to do with him.
I left work that day in a much better mood than I thought possible moments earlier.
Be excellent to each other, you might just make someone’s day.