Three girlfriends, enjoying dinner out.
We chattered so much we forgot to look at the menu. A perky young waitress said, “That’s okay. Just let me know when you’re ready.”
Tracking our conversations would give you whiplash, from kids and grandkids to aging parents, from health issues and insurance to “what’s keeping your days busy?”
Then Lark takes the ticket and insists on paying. The perky waitress ignores our protests and gives it to Lark. Somehow in their exchange Lark begins telling her ways to make your income grow. Kathy and I roll our eyes; how does she do that? Slip in a no-pressure invitation to a total stranger to call her about a part-time business?
We’ve seen her do it several times since retirement from teaching, and it is never forced, just a genuine reaching out to a potential consultant. Who knew how good she would be at this?
But here is the light bulb moment for me. Waiters or wait staff make only $2.00 an hour! I knew their pay is low and tips are critical, but $2? That is insane! This single hard-working mom survives on tips. And since it’s tax day, here’s another tidbit. That hourly wage pays her taxes, so whatever she makes in tips pays her bills, feeds and clothes her child, fills up the gas tank, and on and on.
How do you thank a worker in a service business? A big tip. Notice how long you stay at your restaurant table, the tip you leave, and how many tables your waiter serves. Estimate how much your waiter made while you ate. No guilt trip here from me — I’m just saying, pay attention.
Who else did you pass by this week with barely a thought about what they give or give up to take care of your needs?
Recently, Larry and I had the privilege of treating four dear women to lunch. They have worked at our church many years as secretaries, bookkeepers, or receptionists. They’ve listened to many complaining church members in their years of service, watched ministers and staff come and go, experienced one more “new direction” for the church numerous times. Who honors them for their service? Maybe at retirement we give them some token.
We just wanted them to know they are appreciated.
Perhaps Larry and I are a little more mindful of how a church staff member is seldom recognized. Larry worked for many years as a videographer, even worked for free at one church. As a preacher’s kid I saw how critical a church secretary is to the minister. Two sister-in-laws have worked all their professional years as church secretaries. The pay is low, and the benefits are usually slim.
As I counted gifts this year in my journals I became much more aware of the little blessings in our lives. I’ve shared many of them in this blog, but today seemed like a good day to nudge others to pay attention to the people we encounter in our day-to-day business.
Consider showing appreciation to these folks:
- Mothers’ Day Out care-givers
- volunteers for the food pantry or clothing giveaway
- your barber or hairdresser
- the staff at your gym or YMCA
- the person who delivers your mail or newspaper
Who should you add to your list? Maybe a card is enough to say thanks, but try putting yourself in their position. What would you wish for?
Counting these joys today:
- Dean, Jean, Shirley, Glenda for their years of service
- RuthAnn and Brenda for their labors
- the beauty of spring in full bloom (at last)
- allergy and asthma medicine to counteract the blooms
- first responders in Boston who rushed to assist people at the Boston Marathon today