I read this story from Jim Tressel a few years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. I’m terrible with names. To be honest I will forget it before we even finish shaking hands for the first time. The other day I heard someone say “I’m bad with names but great with faces.” I never thought of it that way but regardless, as Dale Carnegie once said – “There’s nothing sweeter to someone than the sound of their own name.”
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read 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 fifties, but how would I 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 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 her name was Dorothy.
-Jim Tressel (Life Promises For Success)
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”