Don't be a duck
On the Bright Side
July 8, 2023
From time to time I receive little stories like this one from friends and readers, that I like to share with you all. This one (author unknown but credited online to several different people) especially struck a note with me, as so many people these days like to complain about everything. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did:
I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.
He handed me a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wasu, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk, I'd like you to read my mission statement.'
Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.
This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.'
I said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.'
Wasu smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water, and orange juice.'
Almost stuttering, I said, 'I'll take a lassi since I've never had one before.'
Handing me my drink, Wasu said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have Good Housekeeping magazine, Reader's Digest, The Bible, and a Travel + Leisure magazine.'
As they were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'
And as if that weren't enough, Wasu told me that he had the heater on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.
Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he'd be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.
'Tell me, Wasu,' I was amazed and asked him, 'have you always served customers like this?'
Wasu smiled into the rear-view mirror. 'No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about the power of choice one day.
'Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle. If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining! Ducks quack and complain. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Eagles soar above the crowd.'
'That hit me right,' said Wasu. He continued and said, 'It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'
'I take it that has paid off for you,' I said.
'It sure has,' Wasu replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year, I'll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.'
Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles. I hope we all decide to soar like an eagle and not quack like a duck."
Another great story about how attitude matters, about how the choice is ours, whether to be a decent person...or a duck.
Don't be a duck.
© 2023 Mel Makaw. Mel is a local writer/photographer; her book, On the Bright Side, a Collection of Columns is available locally at Tehachapi Arts Center and Healthy Hippie Trading Co. Mel welcomes your comments at email@example.com.