I placed ten packages on the counter.

Mike, the postal clerk, would be helping me for a while to get all my gifts weighed, stamped, and on their way. I tried a little friendly chatter, but he pretty much focused on his job.

After seven packages and just as many dead-end comments, Mike started handling the last three packages. I wanted these gifts insured.

As I watched Mike slap a UPC sticker on the first package, I commented, “Where would we be without bar codes?”

For some reason, this statement clicked with him and we got into a brief conversation about how dependant we can be on technology.

As we finished the last package, I handed Mike The Passage booklet.

“Thanks!” he exclaimed. “I will read it later. I need something to inspire me today.”

I am so glad I persisted in looking for an opportunity to be pleasant to Mike. I thought he had a distant personality, but in reality he had apparently had a bad day.

Mike’s whole mood changed and he joined the other clerk, another customer, and myself in a little friendly banter as I left the post office that day.

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