I don’t know about you, but my experience with personal service has not exactly made my heart sing lately. Whether it’s shopping in a department store or eating in a restaurant, the attention of the employees usually leaves much to be desired.
These weaknesses are especially difficult to overlook, since I’ve worked in the service industry before. As a former Dillard’s sales associate, I can testify that the company works hard to train their employees to know their products, identify needs and desires of customers, overcome objections, recommend additional items, and close the sale with a smile.
I recently dined at a restaurant where the hostess didn’t even seem to care that our party had entered the building. Additionally, the waiter didn’t have a clue about the menu items — and consequently managed to mess up nearly everyone’s order! We left pledging to never return there again.
Well, I realize that it’s just human nature to talk about the bad experiences we have in life. But today I want to talk about a great experience I had last night at a local restaurant.
Our family met my wife’s extended family at Macaroni Grill to celebrate my niece’s birthday. I was a bit wary of going there on a busy Friday night, especially with a party of ten. But when we walked in the door, the hostess had our names on the list and promptly escorted us to our table — which was already prepared.
Our server came over and introduced herself to us. She offered to get us drinks, but we asked her to wait until our entire party arrived — which was only about five minutes later. There were three children in our party. And those of you who have children and grandchildren know how frustrating it can be to eat out with kids — even if they’re well-behaved.
This particular server was extremely attentive to our needs — and especially to those of our children. She kept our water glasses full and our bread plates well-stocked. She treated us like family and served us with a smile. Even when one of the orders was inadvertently messed up, she did not get flustered. She merely apologized and made a very quick switch.
The server did not rush us at all. She took her time — and worked to build rapport with us, even the children. So many times servers seem to dread waiting on children, but this one did so joyfully and with great respect.
Suzy represented herself and her employer well. And in doing so, she reminded me of the importance of being a servant.
The Bible talks a lot about the importance of service. Jesus said:
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26b-28, ESV)
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24, ESV)
As much as I appreciate good service, I must remember that as a follower of Christ, I am called not to be served but to serve. And to do so with a joyful heart.
I challenge you to not only give proper acknowledgement to those who serve you well — but also to let such service inspire you to do your best as a representative of Christ Jesus.
With excellence as our goal, may we each aspire to provide ‘A+ service’ wherever we find opportunity.