It is the Christmas season, the time of good cheer, the time when most people are nicer to each other. Yesterday I was reminded that most is by no means all.
I was eating breakfast with my husband and a friend at a restaurant. I glanced at the table next to us and realized that I slightly knew the woman sitting there and was about to speak to her when her waiter walked up and she tore into him. She was very upset because he had mistakenly told her that they were ready to serve the lunch menu, when in fact the roast beef was not ready yet. I have never seen somebody so upset about roast beef. She demanded to see a manager. She proceeded to tear into him. The waiter and the manager were very polite, apologized over and over, tried to make it right, but there was nothing they could do about serving her roast beef at 10:30 in the morning when it just wasn’t done yet, and that was the only thing that would make her happy. I wanted to pull the waiter aside and tip him, he did not deserve the tongue lashing she gave him. I certainly no longer wanted to renew my acquaintance with that woman.
Later yesterday afternoon I got my share of such treatment from a customer at work. He had sent an e-mail Monday that we never got, so we had not done the work he needed done. I looked everywhere for it but it just wasn’t there. I suggested he resend it and I would rush it out as quickly as I could. As I looked at the application I had some questions so I called him back. He was furious because he might lose that tenant and it wasn’t fair. The more I apologized the nastier he became. I tried to ask questions to clarify things and he got angrier. “Your company just isn’t working out for us,” he spat out over the phone. Fortunately God controlled my own tongue, so that instead of the profanity in my mind what came out was another apology and the promise to get his work done ASAP, and that my boss would call him about everything else. God blessed me and that job was done in absolutely record time. But I was left angry and upset. It was not my fault, it was not anybody’s fault. Technology does not always work like it is supposed to. This man could have accepted my apology and I would have still gotten that job done quickly, and in the future I would have done every job for him with a good attitude in response to his good attitude. Now every time I see his name on something I am going to remember being yelled at, and trust me, that file will go to the bottom of my stack.
So, what is the moral of these two little stories?
How do you want to be remembered by the people who serve you?
Do you want them to serve you out of kindness and love, or in anger or fear?
Something to think about.