From Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

A Million-Dollar Lesson

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I had flown into Dallas for the sole purpose of calling on one client. Time was of the essence, and my plan included a quick turnaround trip from and back to the airport. A spotless cab pulled up. The driver rushed to open the passenger door for me and made sure I was comfortably seated before he closed it. As he got into the driver’s seat, he mentioned that the neatly folded Wall Street Journal next to me was for my use. He then showed me several tapes and asked me what type of music I would enjoy. Well! I looked around to see if I was on Candid Camera. Wouldn’t you? I could not believe the service I was receiving. “Obviously you take great pride in your work,” I said to the driver. “You must have a story to tell.”

He did. “I used to be in Corporate America,” he began. “But I got tired of thinking my best would never be good enough, fast enough, or appreciated enough. I decided to find my niche in life where I could feel proud of being the best I could be. I knew I would never be a rocket scientist, but I love driving cars, being of service, and feeling like I have done a full day’s work and done it well.”

After evaluating his personal assets, he decided to become a cab driver. “Not just a regular taxi hack,” he continued, “but a professional cab driver. One thing I know for sure, to be good in my business I could simply just meet the expectations of my passengers. But to be great in my business, I’d have to exceed the customer’s expectations. I like the sound of being ‘great’ better than just getting by on ‘average.’”

Did I tip him big time? You bet. Corporate America’s loss is the traveling folks’ gain!

Petey Parker

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