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5th March 2016

Jozef’s Smile

Running a business, I frequently place orders for materials and equipment. I never cease to be astonished how much packaging comes with my orders; boxes come inside boxes.

For this reason, I make frequent trips to the recycle yard and in time a few of the yard workers’ faces have become familiar.

One person in particular stood out to me – a middle aged man with kind eyes. He has no front teeth, but he does everything with a deferential smile and is always quick to help.

Sometime ago, I noticed his absence for a few weeks and asked one of his colleagues. I did my best to describe him and finally, described him by his smile.

“Oh Jozef!” He responded- “He’s away now because he’s having surgery for kidney problems.”

I was ashamed that though he wore a name tag, I had not bothered to learn his name prior to this.

I sent my regards and was happy to see him back at work a few weeks later.

I have since learnt a little more about him. He’s Polish and moved with his family to Exeter a few years ago. He considers Exeter home and as one of his colleagues pointed out to me, he’d much rather prefer a bottle of Vodka than the box of chocolates I take down every Xmas 🙂

It’s ironic that I’m in the business of enhancing smiles, yet of the many people working at the yard, the smile that shone brightest to me was one with no front teeth.

Because Kindness Matters.

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