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#30DaysofGOOD Challenge: 2. Have a Conversation with a Service Employee

Each month, we challenge our community to do something that will improve the world around us. September's challenge? To connect.

Welcome to The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD). Each month, we challenge our community members to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. The challenge for September? To connect with other people. In an effort to help us all rise to the occasion, we're going to assign one small task every day. Each morning, we will post the challenge on and Twitter, along with a testimonial from someone on the GOOD team who's already completed it. We invite you to complete all 30 mini-challenges with us! Today, we challenge you to:

Have a conversation with your barista, server, or some other service employee.

I’ll 'fess up: Talking to the person working behind the counter isn’t tough for me. After all, I met my husband when he was working the cash register in a chain drugstore and I was his customer.

But sometimes I’m in such a rush that I forget to say “Hi, how’re you doing?” to the person ringing up my extra hot chai. I got a reminder about why it's important during a recent dinner out with my family to celebrate my sons' success on their standardized tests.

As our server took drink orders, I decided to tell him why we were celebrating. As it turns out, he’s only a waiter at night and on the weekends. During the day, he’s a fourth grade teacher at a charter school. Before I knew it, we were talking about the sad fact that many teachers have to work second jobs because they can’t make ends meet on a teacher’s salary. He confessed that he’s thinking of leaving the classroom for a better-paying gig. It reminded me that the issues I write about, like teacher pay and retention, affect real people's lives.

You never know who you’re talking to or what they’re going to tell you. But I almost always learn something from these interactions and feel reconnected to the real issues we face as a society.

- Liz Dwyer


Ready, set, go! Good luck completing today's challenge. Share your experience on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by using the hashtag #30DaysofGOOD, or let us know how it went in the comments section below.

Tomorrow's challenge: Share a photo with a friend.

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