I was traveling throughout several states last week and had the opportunity to interact with a lot of different people in the service industry. This involved hotels, cars, restaurants, museums and all kinds of places. One thing that really stood out to me is that most service people are generally, inherently nice as long as you are nice to them. The good service, warm conversation and often free things we got by just being ourselves and being pleasant make you wonder just what other kind of people service personnel are dealing with throughout their day.
Having been on the other side of the table as a waiter earlier in my life, I can certainly relate. Anyone who has ever dealt with the public in that way knows that it can be hit or miss. Sometimes, no matter how nice or accommodating you are, it often doesn’t get reciprocated from the patron. Often, people in the service industry are treated as servants rather than equals and often bear the brunt of the blame fo their company’s inability to deliver. They are after all on the front line.
It has been a very rare occurrence that I am not able to turn a service person’s attitude around simply by being kind, asking them about themselves and treating them as they should be treated. The overwhelming positive response that I get from being kind leads me to wonder exactly what the rest of their day has been like, when being kind is recognized as being out of the norm. However, with our technological devices in tow the art of conversation is becoming more rare and when service people encounter it, I would imagine it is a welcome change.
Most people assume that people in the service industry are making a lot of money. When I was a waiter I was paid $2.01 an hour and all the rest of my income relied on tips, which also require me to give good service. That was 30 years ago and that $2.01 hasn’t gone up much in most states. While service individuals have a responsibility to provide good service for that tip, we also have a responsibility to be good patrons. A good server waiting on a good patron can wind up a gold winning combination in most situations.
When you encounter service people throughout your day, give them a smile and say hello. I think you may be pleasantly surprised by the response you receive!
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.