I thought that I was pretty good at hiding my personal struggles and frustrations at work. The average person probably wouldn't pick up on it but one of my employees literally brought tears to my eyes just with a few words. From what I understand he used to be a preacher and now works as a host part time. He is always a very pleasant person, very warm, welcoming, and affectionate, kind of like a grandfather. He is very soft spoken but people listen to what he has to say. He reminds me a lot of Bro David Jones...he never meets a stranger, very mild mannered, and even the young college kids are drawn to him. He calls me "kiddo" and pretty much everyone else. Technically, I am not suppose to allow him to call me that but in his eyes I am a kiddo and because I was raised to respect my elders I allow it.
So at about 8pm (12 hours after I arrived at work), he was leaving but made it a point to come back in the kitchen to tell me bye. He says to me "keep smiling kiddo", which is what he always says so I didn't think much of it and he started to walk away. But then he stopped and came back and this is the words he spoke to me: "Promise me you will keep smiling" so I smiled and shook my head yes. "I know you are my boss and I shouldn't say this but I look in your eyes and tell you carry a lot on your shoulders. I am not sure what you are carrying but it is a heavy burden but I can tell you are a very strong person so you just keep your head up, stay strong, and keep smiling it will get better." I couldn't even respond but it touched my heart because the tears began to well up in my eyes. I know he knew how much those words touched me because he just squeezed my elbow, smiled, and walked away.
It is very rare that someone can say something so simple and kind for no reason at all, much less something that will touch my heart in such a way that brings me to tears. I guess I am not as good as I thought I was about leaving my personal problems at the door when I go to work. I wonder if I just keep smiling the load that I am carrying will start falling off even if it is only a little bit at a time...?