Thursday, April 5, 2007


I know I've mentioned once or twice that I like Diet Dr Pepper. It is, for me, like a security blanket. In mid-afternoon, when I've been having a frustrating day, I go to the fridge and grab a DP, and sit back to take that first sip with eyes closed, just savoring it for a moment before returning to the insanity. It makes everything just a little bit better, if only for that one moment. It's also my source of caffeine, because I'm not much of a coffee-drinker.

In the office, I bring in my own supply. I usually keep the 12-pack at my desk, and put the cans into the refrigerator two at a time. I keep them in a separate part of the fridge from the "soda mess" that started up a year ago, so that they don't get taken. This has varying degrees of success, depending on how many guests we have in the office. I am more than happy to share what I have with anyone, if they ask. But I do not appreciate it when I go to get that desperately needed DP fix at midday, and find them all gone. I've been known to threaten bodily harm to people who mess with my Diet Dr Pepper.

So yesterday, an engineer was visiting from the naval base, and he's also a Diet DP drinker. He's also very polite - he always asks, if I'm here, and if I'm not here, he leaves me a note and replaces the soda next time he's here. When I left for the day, I grabbed one of the two cans in the refrigerator without replacing it, figuring I'd just put one in this morning. And this morning, when I got to my desk, I found a note (written with my purple pen, no less, when there were "normal" black and blue ones right there with it) that said he'd taken a DP and would replace it on his next visit. I laughed, because I'd said he could just take one when I'd seen him in the hallway earlier.

But then came the best part. I went to put two cans in the refrigerator, to replenish my stock, and I found that he had already taken one from my stash and put it in the fridge for me, so it would be cold when I came in. How awesome is that?

It makes me so happy to encounter thoughtful people, because so often we are self-absorbed and don't pay attention to little details that can really make a big difference to people.

One little detail that I pay a great deal of attention to is intentionally making eye contact and smiling when saying thank you. It doesn't matter to whom - could be the teenager at the Taco Bell drive-through, the teller at the bank, my boss at the end of a performance review - but you should see what happens in someone's face when you look him or her in the eyes, smile, and say thank you. It's incredible.