The young chirpy voice piped up a cheery ‘good morning’ on the packed train carrying a miserable load of – now ‘ex’ – holidaymakers from Gatwick Airport to Clapham, and onwards to London and who knows where, home.
I looked up in surprise. This was not the usual breed of grumpy ticket checker/issuer. This was someone making the best of his job, possibly even enjoying it. He was unusually verbose and clearly enjoyed interacting with the customers.
‘Good morning madam, may I see your ticket please? Excellent. Change at Clapham for Basingstoke, and have a pleasant day’
Amazingly, he was even offering to help anyone that might need it.
‘If you need assistance today ladies and gentlemen, I’m the handsome chap with the sandy hair and glasses. You can come and find me in one of the carriages’
That elicited a few smiles, a few sniggers. To me, it was wondrous to hear a cheerful voice in the grey London dawn. Refreshing to see people smiling, perhaps against their natural inclination, at that hour of the day.
I suspect if we were all a little more engaged, a little less preoccupied with our own troubles; if we were to do our jobs with more enthusiasm, and smile a bit more, then the world would be a better place. A smile is infectious. You can hear it in someone’s voice. It can turn a grey and miserable day into something a bit more positive, even if only for a while.
I wrote to the train company and asked them to thank Alex for cheering me up that morning. I don’t know if they passed the message on, but I hope so. Good on you Alex!