She loved working for the corporate world. She loved being where big things were happening. She loved wearing pretty outfits, even though they were always hidden under her uniform. She loved putting on makeup and looking pretty. Her mama always told her how beautiful she was, just like her namesake.
“One day,” her mama reassured her, “one day, someone will notice you.”
And she, believed in her heart of hearts, that one day it would happen.
She didn’t hate her job. It was honest work. And she loved having so much at her disposal. Sometimes the women would stuff hardly-worn outfits into the bins, when they came back from shopping during their lunch breaks. Once or twice she found gorgeous pairs of shoes. “Can’t wear last season shoes!” one woman laughed, as she told her friend in the stall next to her. Luckily she and the woman were the same size. As soon as the women had left, Marilyn stuffed her prize into her bag. And once, there was a woman, who forgot a brand new makeup kit with all the latest colors, right there on the edge of the sink, where Marilyn was cleaning. Looking at her watch, the woman remembered that she was late for a meeting and rushed off. Even though the woman was a regular and had even returned once or twice that same day, she never asked about her forgotten makeup kit. She never showed any sign that it was missing. A couple of days later, she had a new one.
11:45, just before lunch, was the busiest time of the day. She loved it when there was a queue. She loved smelling their perfumes and trying to guess, who wore what. She loved listening to their chatter and the latest office gossip. Sometimes, while each took her place in her own little booth, they would share the most intimate details of their relationships as if no one else was there. But she was always there. Based on the bits and pieces she gathered, she would make up stories about them: what jobs they held and the lives they led.
She always did her best to make things pleasant for them. Unlike the others on her team, she took pride in scrubbing the stalls clean: the toilet bowls, the doors, the handles, the locks, and especially the floor, where so many of the women dropped their bags. (When John from maintenance refused to replace the broken hooks on the doors, she went about it on her own.) She always made sure that the mirrors were sparkling and there were no stray hairs or cosmetic remnants in the sinks. As she scoured and hummed to herself, she often wondered, if at home they ignored flushing the toilet, even when they made #2.
And then one day something happened. In all the years that Marilyn had been there, it had never happened before. The woman in red must have been a visitor, because Marilyn had never seen her and she knew all her clients. She must have held a senior position in some company and had come for an important meeting. There was something different about her. As she was about to leave, she turned to Marilyn, smiled and said, “Thank you.”
Finally someone noticed her, just like her mama had promised.
(Inspired by a true event.)
I believe in Kindness. I believe in POO.
It’s time to Risk a RASK — Random Acts of Simple Kindness.
It’s Time 2 Lead.
It’s time to THRIVE!
Originally published at medium.com