The following anecdote was picked up from the
During my second month of college, our professor
gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and
breezed through the questions until I came to the
last one, “What is the first name of the woman
who cleans the school?”
Surely, this was some kind of joke! I had seen the
cleaning woman several times. She was tall,
dark-haired, and in her 50s, but I certainly
didn’t know her name.
I handed in my paper, leaving the last question
blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if
the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
“Absolutely,” said the professor.
“In your careers, you will meet many people.
All of them are significant. They deserve your
attention and care—even if all you do is smile
and say, ‘Hello.’”
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also
learned that her name was Dorothy.