Sunday, October 25, 2015

Being Served

Today we ate lunch with complete strangers.  It wasn't planned and we certainly didn't think we ever would, but we did.  It all started 10 years ago.

We love to get to know our servers, what is their story, where are they going in life, college, etc.  We're not being nosy, we just love to getting to know them.  Each of them has a unique story, and honestly, serving the public is not an easy job.  Over the last 25 years, we have become good friends with several of our servers, but there is one in particular that we absolutely love! He started out in a new Chili's restaurant almost 10 years ago and after a few years, transferred to one just over the river. We had no choice but to follow.

 This young man is a gem.   He genuinely does care for those he serves. Many times, we call ahead to make sure we have a table waiting in his section, and he has our beverages and appetizer ready.  He greets us with handshakes and hugs, ask us if we are having our normal to confirm, and places our order.  He told us today that last week, the chef kept asking if we had arrived yet. Honey and I share a simple salad that is no longer on the menu, but yet he makes sure it is fixed the way we like it. Yep, we are that predictable.  He has watched our kids grow up from youth, ask what they're doing if they are with us,   attended Only's wedding, and last week we had him over for dinner. He knows that if his section becomes horribly busy, he can "neglect" us and tend to others, and we're not upset in the least.   When one of his other regulars had not been in for a few weeks, he called to check on them and found one was recovering from surgery.  Do you see his heart?  He is not just a server, but he truly cares about others. To us, he's like an extension of our family.  He's good at what he does because he does care.  I'm not sure what we're going to do when he graduates from college next year, but I'm sure the relationship will not end there. See, he stepped away from college to evaluate what he really honestly wanted to do with his life (and it's not waiting tables).

Today, when we arrived, his section was full, but a table was opening up.  As we sat there waiting (he didn't know we were there), his other regulars, an older couple we've seen him serve regularly, arrived at the right time. He proceeded to show them to the table we were waiting on, when he spotted us.  In the end, they asked if we would consider eating with them, "It was your table" the gentleman said.  We had a great lunch with complete strangers, found out their story, and the world got a tad smaller when we found they were from some of our old stomping grounds up and we knew of the same places.  He admitted it was a little weird to have us all sitting at the same table, but that's okay. I think God may have smiled at the melding of strangers.

  Can I tell you something else?  Did you know that almost every server we've talked to hates working on Sunday?  Do you know why?  Because Sunday crowds are the worst tippers and most demanding.  That's a pretty bad reputation, so I'd like to challenge you in two ways.

  1. When you go out to eat and there are servers, please treat them kindly.  You never know what kind of day they've had.  We've always taught our kids to tip on service and not on food quality, which is the correct rule of thumb, and we do tip more than 10%.   If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out to eat.
  2. Try to get to know your server a little, even if it's their name.  Try to use their name when you talk with them and say something kind. We always ask them "their story" of where they are in life at the moment.  Try to show them Jesus in your actions.  Leaving them a pamphlet or bulletin about church as a "tip" is really rude and not showing Christ at all and is very discouraging. You may never bring up Christ in your speech, but you do in your actions. Does this make sense?  

Even if you're not a Christian, these things can still apply. Actions really do speak loudly of your character.  Oh gee, this turned into something I didn't mean it to, but seriously, think of how you or your family would want to be treated if they were the person doing the serving. 

Do you have anything specific you do while eating out in regard to your server?  Do you have a favorite server? How do you let them know they are appreciated?   I'd love to hear your experiences.  

Ps, When I'm speaking of servers, you can include bank tellers, checkers, people that take care of your car, retail people, teachers, law enforcement, medical specialist, etc...

1 comment:

Raine said...

wow! That's good stuff! I have witnessed your conversations with even the server you have never met (Red Robin in Tulsa). I have to admit, we do not eat out that much to have a favorite server and the only regular server I may have it at the bank window when I stop by to pick up the bank bag for my church, of which I do try to give them love and kindness, not just because I represent my church while I getting our bank bag, bur for all the other reasons as well. I love how you open up and know no stranger. That is God's love!
Love you!