Smiles are everywhere. They really are, you just have to look for them. I am dedicating this blog to finding those smiles out in the world and posting them on here. If you have smiles to share, email me at smilesareeverywhere@gmail.com and remember that if you want credited, include your name.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Spreading the happy

Wendy from Canada sent me this article and I thought it would be wonderful to share seeing as how this blog is all about smiles and this guy makes so many people smile.

He’s been dubbed “the happiest food service employee alive” and described as a cross between Ronald McDonald and Jesus. He even has a Facebook fan page dedicated to him.

Lance Marcotte-Callas, nicknamed “Happy Lance,” is a local star for spreading his own brand of cheer from the McDonald’s’ drive-through window.

“It’s nice to be recognized when you put your heart and soul into your work,” said Lance, in an upbeat, smooth voice that could belong to a dee-jay.

Lance described how a group of local students created the Facebook page, which is moderated by a parent.

“They created it because they love me and I’m really thankful. It’s just great.”

Happiness, said Lance, is contagious and it’s a feeling he truly loves to pass on to customers, who often leave his drive-through window with a smile.

“I’m representing loving caring vibes. I care about how I make the customer feel. I can make a difference in someone’s whole day just by being me,” enthused the server, who would one day like to be a radio announcer. When not working 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. shifts at McDonald’s, Lance enjoys “staying busy:” hanging out with friends, going hiking and four-by-fouring.

Lance is quick to credit the other McDonald’s employees as well as management for keeping him so happy.

“It’s all team work. It’s a team that’s on a family level. I couldn’t do it without them backing me up.”

Lance, however, can strike a serious note.

“It can be stressful in the drive-through, with all the people.” Seeing how happiness is contagious, though, keeps him going, along with the fan support. As for just how he stays so happy, Lance shared his secret.

“I gained it over time. I just kept building on it and improving it. My body just kind of kicks into that state. I’m looooooovin’ it,” said the self-described “energizer bunny” who has worked at McDonald’s for more than a year.

“Lance is laughing and smiling all the time,” said Frank Popien, owner of McDonald’s for the past 13 years. Though Popien has had some exceptional employees during this time, “I honestly can’t say I’ve had another Lance.”

“Lance plays by his own set of rules. He can be off-the-wall and very funny. He can be over the top but in a good way.”

Usually, said Popien, the voice of the server at any drive-through can be quite monotone. Not so with Lance.

“It’s very different. He’s off the Richter Scale,” chuckled Popien, who noted that Lance was more reserved when first hired.

“He wasn’t as outgoing. When he got more comfortable, his personality came out. He’s a breath of fresh air in the drive-through. It’s really quite funny to listen to him.”

At last count, more than 840 people are fans of Happy Lance on Facebook.

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