Thursday, February 5, 2015

Week 20: Service with a Smile

Our family took a much-needed break from the Wisconsin winter this past week and ventured to Florida where we gorged ourselves on our beloved Waffle House.  We ate plate after plate of waffles, hash browns (I take mine scattered, smothered and covered) and cherry/vanilla Cokes.

My husband and I have been fans of Waffle House for 15 years and visit them frequently any time we travel south.  How frequently, you ask?  Well, we visited there three times this past week, two days in a row.  And we may or may not have mapped out road trips and day-excursions around them on past vacations.

Besides the delicious food, the service is always flawless.  The employees are some of the nicest people on the planet and are always welcoming, friendly and attentive.  And they offer to-go cups of their syrupy soft drinks, which is always a plus. 

We visited a Waffle House on our way to the airport yesterday for one last fix and our server was exceptionally kind.  He even offered to come home with us to help shovel out the foot of snow waiting for us.  "Just give me a warm bed and some hot food and I'll do all the shoveling you need...all winter long." 

We talked about our children and he smiled as he told us about his son's love of bacon, adding in an off-hand way that he can't afford to buy too much of it for him to eat at home.  While I can't connect with him on the specific issue of bacon (my children and I are life-long vegetarians), I can empathize on the helpless feeling of giving your children all they desire when it's out of your reach.

And this is why I left him a 100% tip. 

I hope his son enjoys his bacon and I hope our server knows he's making a difference in the lives of everyone who comes into his restaurant.  His big smile, booming voice and kind heart stirred me in a special way, and that feeling won't be forgotten any time soon. 

"The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other." - Meryl Streep

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