This weekend I worked the Digital Dreams Festival. On Saturday my shift ran from 10:00 AM until just past midnight. Sunday my start time was the same, but I didn’t clock out until shortly after 2:00 AM.
Suffice it to say, I was kinda pooped.
Long days and hot weather often breed bad attitudes. People become short tempered, and sometimes seem to want to complain just so they can be heard complaining. Throw in a scheduling issue, new technology and its accompanying glitches, a smattering of miscommunications, and a shortage of a few key resources and tempers are guaranteed to boil over.
But while all of those things happened (including the boiling tempers), the weekend was actually really good. Yes, a few things went wrong, but a lot of things went really, really right. And they were small things. They were things done by and for individuals.
Growing up, my mom seemed perpetually annoyed with my dad for his inability to keep on top of the little things, and I used to think she was being ridiculous, but really, it is the little things that make all the difference.
It’s the audio tech who you’ve never met before making sure you’ve got water when you’re working outside on a hot day.
It’s the staff and patrons who turn in iPhones and Blackberries to the lost and found. Even wallets with all their cash and cards still inside.
It’s the look on a woman’s face when she anxiously informs you that the public washrooms are out of tampons, and you give her two out of your own purse.
It’s coworkers who are completely exhausted, but keep working so that other staffers can take much needed breaks.
It’s the random, slightly intoxicated party-goers who compliment you up and down, and try to tip you for being so helpful, as though they expected to be ignored.
The few big things which went wrong happened on a grand enough scale that no one could really take them personally, and they didn’t keep a two day party from happening. Thousands of people still danced, drank, and didn’t let the glitches get them down.
On top of that, a bunch of people did small, personal things which only directly affected one or two other people, but which brought smiles and billowing relief to those total strangers.
It was a long weekend, but it was a good weekend. And really, if you’re going to have a few days which seem to stretch out over an eternity, can you be anything but grateful if they’re good ones?by