You’ve been there a hundred times before.
Good food, good service, good price, so you’re back for breakfast. You order, wait, make some conversation, and watch a table of eight loud, self-centered, drunk leftovers from last night walk out on your waiter because they changed their minds after ordering and because they are assholes.
It’s crazy busy and you can tell he’s been busting his butt as he walks out to serve two huge trays of ordered meals to another suddenly vacated table. It’s been a long night and at the end of his shift, this is a tough pill for him to swallow.
What’s it like to be him right now?
Still waiting for your own meal to be served, you call him over and ask if he might wrap up a few of those unserved sandwiches for you to buy and take for lunch at the office. It’s just enough goodwill at the right moment to lift him out of a momentary pit which, at 5am, is working overtime reinforcing a belief that nobody cares about him.
Your offer engages him for a minute or so to talk about the rough night and the demanding crowd who care nothing about what it’s like to be him, only how fast they can get their food and which excuse they’ll use to stiff him on a tip. But he’s off shift soon and because you were different…because you empathized and showed you cared at the right time…he heads home on a slightly more positive note with a renewed belief.
And a small piece of humanity is redeemed at a cost to you of just $27 plus 20%. And it’s totally worth it.
You say your goodbyes and head to work. And though yours is already in the office fridge, your coworkers thank you for catering today’s lunch. Especially your underpaid, overworked receptionist with three kids who’s been doing without all week until payday.
And though it’s just beginning, today could easily be the start of the best day of your life. And maybe his.