One of my heroes is a woman who routinely cleans up the mess that others leave in bathrooms. You know the mess I mean… the stuff we all leave around because it’s “somebody’s job to pick it up.” It’s my contention that we each have two categories in this regard — the thing that OF COURSE I CLEAN UP and the things that JUST AREN’T MY PROBLEM.
We think about the latter category, “Yuck, those are someone else’s germs.” But we forget that our germs are not exactly appealing to the person who is paid to clean up after us.
But my friend looks for ways to do the job of the person whose job it is… figuring they might be pretty excited to have a bit less work to do. I love that!
Last weekend I was at the Kentucky Derby. There are attendants in all restrooms during the Derby. And they are busy. Supplying safety pins, refreshing paper towel and toilet paper supplies, counseling drunk women, and overseeing cell phones that are recharging.
One attendant was so excited to have received a $100 tip. That was the best story I heard all day. A woman gave her a $100 bill and said, “If I can get $100, I can tip you $100.” The woman didn’t think her banker would recognize her coming in there with a $100. It made my day.
So what I want to challenge myself with is this: why don’t I do more work that “belongs to somebody else?” And why don’t I do more extravagant things for others than I do for myself?