The Power of a Smile

I smile quite a bit.  My students sometimes ask me why I’m always smiling.  I don’t know if I have a good answer for that.  I like my job. I like them. I’d much rather smile than frown. I don’t like being around grumpy people, so I might as well make sure I’m not a one. I guess you could say that in general, I try to be positive and easy-going. Every once in a while, this smiley business pays off.

Today I was on my way to a board meeting instead of school.  I was busy contemplating my route to the meeting to avoid the highways during rush hour. What happens while I’m deep in my re-routing thoughts?  Flashing red lights.  Yep. I got pulled over. I got my insurance card out and was ready with it while the officer approached my car. As I gave it to him I smiled and I said, “I’m sorry, I was thinking of other things and don’t even know how much I was over.” He looked at my insurance card and then asked for my license.  Oh yeah, I suppose he’d want to see that… I got it out of my purse and gave it to him. He looked at it and handed it back to me and said, “Make sure you slow down.”

Now that I think about it, I’ve been pulled over twice in my life. Both times I got a warning. The first time was when I was in high school on my way to work at JC Penney. I’m sure I did the smiley-innocent thing that time too. I don’t really want to test out the theory of the smiley-innocent thing working for me. But I don’t think it hurt in either case.

I’m not saying that smiling will work every time in situations like that. But I think it’s safe to say that an officer would rather deal with someone who is pleasant and smiling rather than someone grumpy and argumentative. I know that in my job I’d much rather deal with the former than the latter! 🙂

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