Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Raking Across The Coals

Well, ya'll, when we think about it, we all know that in order to have a testimony we have to have a test first:) We can choose to let those tests make us or break us. Sometimes, some of those tests come from getting raked across the coals.

K. So, I've never worked with a cash registar or in a sit-down family type restaraunt, until now. I am very thankful for this job. It was a godsend. While I am very thankful for it, I am remembering what it's like to be in the workforce, after being laid-off ten months ago, and working with people in a service type job AND dealing with their money and credit cards, to boot. Ya'll, I forgot there were "mean" people out there who would be mean to me. Oopy doopy

:( :)

Today was day seven in training as Hostess. I would like to share some of the "mean" people experiences with you, only to finalize in discussing the overcomer attitude.

Saturday was my third day in training, but when I got to work, I learned that my trainer had called in and I was to do my best and ask for help as needed. Now, my co-workers (from waitresses to manager, were really angels to me (and still are) and that was part of what drove me to hang in there and do a good job.

So far, I've experienced a stiff seeming elderly couple, who not be kind enough to give me room to really clean the booth table that they wanted. as they stood against the ends of their soon to be seats. I stretched that day like I haven't stretched in years:) I scrubbed and did the best I could to get the table spic and span. It wasn't enough. The lady felt very dry and cold and demanded that the table was still soiled. I said, "ok, no problem" and I literally scrubbed the "flawless"spot she pointed at (and am suprised there was any decor print left on that part of the table when I was done. I went over the man's side of the table the same way, as I had noticed his dis-approving look at me when I had finished scrubbing the area she had pointed to. As I finished, I smiled at them with as much politeness as I could pull up and wished the an enjoyable meal, and then walked away.

I've experienced a one man's rudeness as he and his party paid for their meals. I was still learning how to ring up tickets that come from the same table but are registered according to their seat numbers. It was still a little confusing to me. I messed up twice within the first five minutes of ringing them up, but did the right thing by getting assistance, apologizing for their wait, and thanking them for their patience. During the time of the second mistake, one of the men, who was in their party and waiting for his turn to be rang up, clearly said, "That's two screw-ups within just the first few minutes of ringing us up. She needs to be fired." Now, mind you, just above my nametag I am wearing an obvious large button that says in red and white, "Please be patient, I'm in training." It was very challenging for me not to rip off my nametag and button and go to clock out and walk away. However, I went with my better judgment and used a smile as my weapon, when it was his turn, and counted his change back to him and I held eye contact with him and smiled. Whew.............

There was a nice lady who preferred a booth and said anywhere was fine. I walked her and her gentleman friend to the back (there is a rotation system for seating so that each waitress has opportunity to earn her money- as long as the customer doesn't request a specific area or waitress). As we were nearing the table, the lady said to the man, "Well, if I'd known she was going to seat us all the way back here, I'd have told her we wanted a booth in the front." I was feeling "fed-up" from the rude epidemic, so, I stopped and turned to her and ever so gently said, "Would you prefer to go back to sit in the front area? Because that would really be ok." I thought it was a great question and she replied with a laugh, "Öh no. We've already walked all the way back here, now." This restaraunt is not very large, compared to many family resteraunts, but you'd have thought it was the legnth of the football field. She seemed to walk very fast and healthy. I don't know. I wished them an enjoyable meal and walked away.

Today, there was a large party of people lunching, and as they were leaving and checking out, I was very careful to only take care of ringing up one customer at a time and wishing them a beautiful day. One gentleman was declined by the credit card machine because of the type of card he wanted me to use, (and I learned then that we only accept two particular types of credit cards.) He grumpily handed me one that we accept, and explained that it was new and had only been used once before. Within fifteen minutes of being gone, he came back and said that he needed his credit card back. My heart stopped. I knew that I hand handed his card to him because I remembered our conversation and doing it. I asked if he was sure that he didn't recieve his card back. He said no, I looked around the cashiers area, and I asked him to please excuse me for one moment. I went to my supervisor and quickly explained the situation. As she came and looked for it with me, she asked if maybe he'd looked around in his car, checked his pockets, and the spot where he'd parked. He said he'd done all of that. I've never experienced this bodily response before, but I begin to sweat so profusely that I had sweat rolling off of my face and my neck. Yucky. He told her about when he was checking out, earlier at the registar, and that we'd held the conversation, etc... and I agreed that it was the truth UnTiL he said, "...and she didn't give my card back to me." I quietly told my manager that wasn't right. They decided he would call the credit card company when he got home and we would call him if it showed up. Talk about feeling like a not guilty- guilty incriminating person. I felt terrible that the little ladies in line had even heard the whole episode. Behind them was an angel, who was an angel to walking me through how to use a certain coupon on the registar last week (who isn't employed there but just happens to be a regular customer:). When it was her turn to be helped, she told me, "Don't you worry about it. You are doing just fine and things like that happen all the time. It's going to be ok." She must've seen me breaking. "This will pass and you are doing great with learning. You know what you're doing and next week when I come in, I bet you'll be just working this cash registar like it's nothing at all." I tried not to cry as her kindness touched my heart. As soon as they left, he came back, again, and told me that he'd found his card and that he'd wrapped it up in something........He didn't apologize, and for me that was ok because it was enough for me that he'd found it. I was so relieved.

There are a few other things that I've experienced thus far, however, I feel that is more than enough to make my point most understandable.

First, there have always been and will always be those who come acrossed rude and ungrateful. Í've also learned that God always sends an angel our way to see us through and today I visually saw mine and heard her, for that situation.

I've also learned that it can be tough and super challenging for even a natural "smiler" to smile in tough times.

I've learned that a smile can determine the outcome of some situations, whether it is for myself or the other person, or both.

I've learned that whispering the name of Jesus re-energize and re-strengthen me in challenging situations.

I've learned that my mama was right, "Kindness kills."

I've learned how I don't want to be.

Better yet, I've learned how I do want to be.

I am aware that I can use this as an opportunity to grow, still be caring but not allowing my feelings to linger on my shoulder and take on other people's negativity. I realize this is an opportunity in which I can learn to function and grow and use in the future to relate to, when I am in clinicals and working as a nurse.

Will I quit? I 'don't think so."

To the babygirl who warned this will change me, I believe it. And, I believe it in the way that it is my intention to practice remaining calm within myself during the challenges and smile all the way through the yuckies. It could be very easy to go over the edge with it, (or better yet- over the table/cash registar:) but I think it's already a great learning and growing experience and I am grateful.

No matter what, God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

'Til next time,

Love, peace, and PB&J

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, sis! Now being the good pastor that I am, I want to take care of my flock. since you are one of them, I'm coming to your restaurant to stalk out those mean people and beat them up. Don't nobody mess with my flock and I MEAN NOBODY messes with my little sister.
    Now, lets bow our heads and pray for I have sinned and wanted to hurt people just now!
    You are truly an angel. . . . Your crown of glory looks like your mother's, sweet sister!