This week I made a few observations of people who were doing their job exactly the way it should be done.  Human nature dictates that we notice problem areas or things that need to be fixed first.  I suppose this is natural because things that are operating properly pose no danger or threat to our daily life.  Even when you turn on the news, the majority of the reporting is on tragedy or what has gone wrong in the day.  Very little of the news coverage is dedicated to leaders, workers, or even nature going the right way. Let's take, for example, the weather.  When there is a hurricane, blizzard, or any other adverse condition, there is non-stop news coverage of the events unfolding.  Instructions are given on how to be best prepared, evacuate, or whatever else needs to be done for the situation on hand.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if we turned on the news and the reporter said “Everything is going well today! And the upcoming weather for the weekend is perfect!”  And all the instructions are laid out to best enjoy perfect weather with your friends and family.

This brings me back to my observations.  It became apparent to me while driving through a long construction zone on Interstate 85 through South Carolina, that a tractor-trailer driver ahead of me was conducting itself in a perfect, safe, and professional manner. This driver's professional driving demeanor stood out in an extreme way to me because more often than not an observer's perception would be that no one pays attention to any of the traffic laws/rules posted through the area.

This is why this driver's actions stood out in an area such as this is, where everyone does everything wrong.  And here was a portrait of driving excellence!  Fortunately for me, my fiance was along and was able to capture a picture of the trailer number and carrier name. I wanted this information so that I would be able to contact someone within this driver's company to inform them what an exemplary example of driving excellence their employee was demonstrating through this 20 plus mile construction zone.

As it would be, I knew the sales team and dealership that dealt with the above-mentioned carrier.  During the next business day, I contacted the dealership sales team in order to find a pathway to inform this driver's employer of his outstanding professional driving as I observed it.

I feel it makes us a better community to report positive observations such as this forward to employers to get back to those doing the right thing. We are always looking to talk about things that are done wrong. It will not be equal time for these since the positives don't need to be improved on as the negatives are. But maybe getting this praise back to the employee will encourage more of the same type of performance on the road.

It was early in the week that this happened and I decided to try and focus on the positive experiences in our daily life. As it turns out there is a lot of small positive actions that often go unnoticed. One of the simplest of items was being recognized when entering a business establishment while stopping for fuel in Hammond, Louisiana.  Mind you, this is a place where I get fuel on a fairly regular basis.  But certainly, I don't fuel there often enough for them to remember my name.

I was at the end of my day fueling up my truck and walked in to get my receipt when the fuel desk attendant addressed me by my last name.  The thought that hit my mind immediately was; “How nice it is to be addressed by name as a customer.”  Is it big? No.  Was it positive? Yes.  In fact, try it sometime; whether you are at a fast-food restaurant, convenience store, or a large retailer, most of the employees have their names attached to their uniforms.  I challenge you to address them by their name when they wait on you.  I have found that a positive response ensues thereafter.

Another observation while stopping at a travel center for dinner was a waitress who was working in the dining room alone. It seemed they had more patrons than they anticipated that evening. Instead of getting frustrated, which might have been justified, this waitress was hustling around the room, serving the customers to the best of her ability.  She kept a smile on her face and greeted everyone as they came in and didn't skip a beat as she took orders and brought back their drinks and dinners.  Because of her positive attitude during this busy night, I plan to contact her employer to give some feedback on the great service we received at their establishment.

In closing, in this world where negative news dominates the mainstream, I will continue to notice the positives in everything and hope that in turn others not only focus on the negatives around us but also notice the positives.  If not for anything else, it makes for a better day for everyone.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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