Today, I had a very humbling experience that I thought I would share…
This weekend my family and I went to the opening of a restaurant in which the owner- who happened to be a celebrity- was present. People lined up around the block to get wrist bands to meet her, see the ribbon cutting, and be the first in line to eat at her restaurant. Some people had even camped out the night before for this event 🤭. Not my cup of tea, but to each his own 🤷🏼♀️.
We arrived around 11AM, and it being my mom’s birthday and eating there was her only request, I stood in line for a little over an hour to get our names on the already gigantic wait list for lunch. While standing there, I witnessed over and over again, several older adults being extremely rude to the young hostess who was taking names, even angrily yelling at her and leaving in a tizzy because they weren’t getting into the restaurant fast enough ON OPENING DAY in which people had literally CAMPED OUT to attend.
I stood there appalled at the patron’s behavior and I felt so bad for the hostess who at that moment, was probably really, REALLY hating her job. She was always polite in her responses to these verbal attacks, but was visibly frustrated and upset. After she had been argued with again by some people standing directly in front of me, I decided I needed to say something- because I was about to lose it. (I would have liked to say a few things to the people who were being nasty to her, but I refrained). As soon as she looked my way I gave her a thumbs up and I told her that she was doing a great job, and “people suck”.
She smiled and I got our name on the wait list for lunch- win win.
When I found Ben I told him what happened and expressed how bad I felt for the hostess. We even debated on buying her a chocolate bar from a surrounding store but for fear she would think we were nuts, we didn’t- BUT we really wanted to.
We left the restaurant, shopped around a bit, and were then texted that our table was ready. We hurried to the restaurant, waited in line again, and low and behold, she appeared with menus and seated my family and I. We talked again about the morning she had and I again apologized that she had to deal with that kind of treatment, I reassured her she was doing a great job and I wished her a much better rest of the day. She helped my youngest son into his booster seat, and I smiled and waved at her when we left.
We ate, we left, day done.
Fast forward to this morning. I was late to work- one of those days when your alarm clock doesn’t go off, you wake up with fifteen minutes to get to work, and arrive with one eyebrow on. I got my things put away and went right to work making coffee, running notices, helping students- the norm. While filling the ever so popular “free coffee” jug in the library, I looked over after hearing the door swing open and I immediately recognized the student who was standing there but couldn’t quite place her (which isn’t unusual in my job- we see a lot of students every day).
She waved and asked me if I was at the restaurant opening on Labor Day and I immediately identified her as the hostess I talked to and felt so bad for- the poor soul I sincerely contemplated buying chocolate for because let’s be honest, chocolate makes everything better 👌🏻. I was stunned that she was at my work, a good 45 minute drive from where I met her a few days ago.
I am not sure exactly what I said as I was in shock but she proceeded to tell me that one patron even told her to F-off! F-off?! Over fried chicken and mediocre mashed potatoes?!? I was stunned and once again I apologized because, well, people are assholes. And no one deserves to be treated that way.
She went to class, I put the coffee pot up and went back to my desk, still shocked, and just pondered a nagging thought. If I had been one of those in line who had told her to F-off, yelled at her, argued with her over my place in line, and belittled her and then she came in and visited the college library- where I work- I would have been absolutely mortified. Not only that, but she probably wouldn’t be back in once she recognized who I was. First impressions are the most important impressions. Just imagine how awkward my morning would have been if I had gotten my panties in a wad and cursed at her in front of everybody waiting in line to be let into to the food trough.
The moral here is that YOU always have an impact on OTHER people’s lives- whether you realize it or not- and it’s a small ass world we live in. Always be kind and don’t burn your bridges because you never know who will pop up when you least expect it. I had no idea that hostess attended college where I work. I had never seen her before outside of the restaurant opening. Yet somehow, there she was, in our library, talking to me.
It only takes a few seconds to be kind. A “you’re doing a great job” or “you’ve got this” goes a long way. Always stand up for and with those who others think they can step on. I was in her shoes once. I remember. Never lose sight of your empathy, compassion, and kindness and for Gods sake- PLEASE don’t cry and cuss over fried chicken and pot roast! 🤷🏼♀️🙄 Take your ass to Popeyes down the street and haul that fifty pound attitude out with you. 🤭