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 50s, 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.