Surprise at the Social Security Office

I anticipated a recent visit to my local Social Security office with reluctance, expecting a long wait, confusing and/or conflicting advice, and boring surroundings. Instead, I found Inspiration thanks to the energy, commitment, self-initiative, and kindness of one man, the security guard.

I made two trips to this particular office and each time watched this man with amazement and appreciation. The office had a large security booth area with a chair behind walls, but I never saw him in the enclosed area. He stood by the door and greeted everyone that entered. The office has a self check-in which was mildly confusing to me, probably much more so to others less familiar with the bureaucratic workings of government offices. He helped everyone with the check-in and answered questions in a friendly manner. If a visitor looked particularly confused, he went over and personally tried to help them to the right place.

During my second visit, I approached him and asked if this was part of his job. He said no. Most of the guards sit behind the desk and don’t talk to people, but he decided to be different. What a difference! The Social Security staff now count on him to be their frontline, and the visitors feel immediately welcomed, respected, and treated in a friendly manner.

He added that his involvement with visitors from the beginning makes it easier if he has to remind them about the no eating, no drinking, no talking on the cell phone rules, or if there is a disturbance.

So, initiative and inspiration in the Social Security office, and a much less boring long wait.