ONLY JUST MERELY
On a recent visit to New York City I had the opportunity to wander around the designer shops on Madison and Fifth Avenues. Beautiful stores decorated with impeccable furnishings and showcases that showoff the merchandise for sale. Lovely environments to shop in as well as work hoping to sell as many items as you can and turn a profit. Working in sales can be hard to say the least and customers can be difficult to deal with many times. Salespersons must be accommodating, polite, and as available as possible so as not to lose a sale. Purchasers in designer shops are not any better than those in the basic retail stores, and neither are the men and women who service those very customers. Well, someone needs to rewrite the retail store manual to let those working in the designer stores know they can take the attitude down a notch or two. When a salesperson was not available to assist me, I asked a very well-dressed gentleman standing on the side to help me. He answered, “I am only the security guard.” All of a sudden I shifted my focus from the item I was interested in looking at to the way he described himself. Only, just, merely. I am sure in that instance, all that was meant by that adverb was that he was not a salesperson, and was not authorized to handle the merchandise. I fully am aware of that however, it was the way he said it, even unintentionally, that provoked the outspokenness in me. Why would someone refer to themselves as “only” anything? Only the receptionist, only the maid, only the nurse, only the … any job. To use the words only, just, merely, barely, and simply suggests a reduced importance to your stature in life and the role you play. Quite disturbed by the explanation of his inability to assist me but understanding it was not his job, I asked him why he did not say instead, “I am the security guard and I would be happy to get a salesperson to assist you.” Where did only have a place in telling me that? The elimination of that word in the sentence changed his position, elevated his importance, as well as his opinion of himself and the role he played in that environment. Since that day I have actually noticed how many people have given themselves the “only” lot in life. From all walks of life and employment, from manual labor positions to Moms who use the “only the Mom” line when confronted by children who think they know better than their parents, people degrade and belittle their positions and existence without even giving a mindful thought. If we don’t think highly of ourselves how can we expect others to think differently? Be more definitive, positive, and proud to be who you are because in this case you are the ONLY one who can change that