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#175: Service With A Smile?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tonight at a restaurant I was reminded of a speaker I once heard who asked a simple question: "Why do so many people work so hard to get a job then, when they get one, do everything they can to avoid actual work?"

What helped me recall this question was the attitude of our waitress. This is a restaurant a friend and I frequent often and have for years. We know the management and serving staff well. Tonight, from the moment she approached our table it was obvious the waitress didn't want to be at work. She took our orders then sulked away.

A few minutes later another employee, off duty, sat with us for dinner. When she saw the attitude of our server she asked, "What's her problem?" "I don't know," I said. "Maybe she's tired." "But that's no excuse," she said. The interesting thing? The two women are roommates so maybe something will be said at home later about proper attitude. One thing for sure, the tip reflected her poor service, even forgetting to bring two items that were part of the meals. But my friend and I chose not to make a big deal of it rather than getting more of her moodiness.

It turned out she was told to work overtime and had no say in the matter and her new shoes hurt her feet. Understandable. Still, the attitude was not appreciated. I'm sure you can relate.

Haven't most of us had jobs we didn't care for? But we need to remember that for the guest or customer, our pleasant attitude may be just what they need to perk up an otherwise bad day. They don't care if we're tired or our feet hurt, they are there to enjoy a meal or to purchase a product. They want and deserve an enjoyable dining or shopping experience.

So the question is: How is your attitude at work and how do you handle things when you feel your mood slipping into darkness?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CINDYHOUGHTON
    My daughter is a waitress and will tell you it is the little things that really matter. She is one of the best I guarantee you. Her tips also reflect it!
    4129 days ago
  • MARYSUPPORTS
    Working with the public means you have to hide your true feelings most of the time. Its obvious this one did not.
    4129 days ago
  • no profile photo CD661974
    The service industry can be a hard one to maintain a positive attitude I know. I work at a laundry facility and often times it gets hectic or things just fall apart and I cannot help as I would like. I try to keep a calm outlook even when the customers are shooting the messanger about stuff beyond my control. On the otherhand all jobs have their ups and downs and people deserve quality service. :)
    4129 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    I can relate to this totally. I retired from the BIG phone company...the Bell companies. And no matter where you worked it was stressful. My way of coping was that I always remembered I was Jesus' Light shining on the world and always remembered "do all to the Glory of God". Amazing how any situation is doable when you have Him uppermost in your mind.
    You were awesome not to complain about her though, Lou. God Bless.
    4129 days ago
  • SEKSUNSHINE
    I have to give myself a good talking to, since I'm the boss and answer to myself. Then I have to get over it and move on. emoticon
    4129 days ago
  • GET-FIT-NOW
    I try to be understanding and not judgemental of those who serve me,because I don't know what burdens they might be bearing.

    Most of us have learn to leave our problems at home ,but new shoes killing your feet and overtime you didn't want you can't leave at home.

    Did you ever ask yourself why you have trouble tolerating others imperfections? We can't change others or outward circumstances, we can only change our self and are own attitudes. Was it the Waitress mood that was the problem that night or your lack of tolerance? Just some food for thought.
    4129 days ago
  • YATMAMA
    I have worked at home for 20 years, so I can grump all I want so long as I accurately transcribe the trial. lol I'm teasing. Whether it's with my husband and kids, my friends, my church family, my grocery store, my doctor's office, my bank, it's important to allow the joy of my heart to shine so brightly that any darkness in my heart is dimmed.
    4130 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    PRAY! first. Then, think it through and put on a smile and go for it!

    M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S
    H A P P Y N E W Y E A R

    emoticon emoticon

    4130 days ago
  • MOMMA_LITTLE
    Hi Lou... Just got home from "The Cracker Barrel" because of a wonderful Christmas gift card from a friend. We had the opposite experience tonight, so as I read your blog, I saw even more dear qualities in our young waitress! She was a sweet, quiet ray of light, and brought joy to our table! She was quick, polite, and helpful. She recommended the broiled catfish when I asked her what was nutritious, and noted the healthy sides I could pick from. The food was delicious and hot when it arrived! She never rushed us, but came by often to see if we were satisfied without bugging us to death.

    I decided to brighten her day, as well, so I asked someone if they could get the manager, and sure enough, I think the owner came out. We told them that we had really enjoyed our waitress and wanted her to know. She asked us what we liked about her, and I told her the same as above. She said that it meant a LOT to Cracker Barrel when people complimented their service in any way, and that Brandi would certainly be praised, etc. I hope it brightened her day as much as she brightened ours!

    So, friends, consider this part B to Lou's great blog, and see the difference a smile or kind word can make when you're serving others! emoticon Lou! Your friend, Lori
    4130 days ago
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