Monday, February 2, 2009

The Hairy Shrimp

Yes, this is a real shrimp that I had from a restaurant. I understand that it isn't hairy - but you have to agree that it is a bit weird looking.

The thing that gave me the idea about this story is that when I held it up to show my Mom, the waitress was over at the table in a flash asking if everything was OK. She was extremely concerned. I told assured her that everything was fine and we continued on with our meal. I was impressed with the speed and concern that she showed us.

So, by now you must be wondering what in the world this has to do with Spreading Joy. I was relieved to see such customer service. Lately there is a lot of talk that people just don't care - but that isn't true. There are some wonderful people giving great customer service.

But....on to the next part of this entry. (You knew there was a catch didn't you?)

What about those of us that expect perfect customer service? Do you blame the waitress if the food isn't right? Why? She didn't cook it. When things heat up at the restaurant, you have an awesome chance of Spreading Joy! Your actions could literally make or break someones day. You don't know what they have been through and how you handle yourself could make a huge difference in someones day - all without costing you any more than your meal.

I was with my Mom (whom I totally adore) and daughter (adore her too) and we were eating out at my favorite restaurant for dinner when it happened. "Oh my gosh" I said to my Mom and started laughing. I was eating my delicious homemade smashed potatoes when I saw it. At first I was unsure of what it was because it was triangular shaped and black. Could it be a guitar pick? We were still laughing because I actually even asked if it was a boomerang. I don't even begin to know why in the world I thought it was a miniature boomerang - I must be losing my mind. So, by this point, me being the silly person that I am - I'm laughing and crying because I keep hearing myself asking my mom about the boomerang. We fish out the triangular substance and realize that it is folded over. We unfold it and finally figured out that it was the label from the potato. How funny is that? We are laughing so hard that no one around us realizes that "something" was in my food.

Knowing that all potatoes at the fine establishment is washed very carefully, I decided that we must inform the manager. I'm serious. I did not want a free meal and I did not (and told her so) want the cook or any of the preparers to get into any kind of trouble - I simply wanted to let them know that they need to watch for those pesky labels. Plain and simple. (Joy at it's best!)

She was a little surprised. I didn't want any trouble and in fact we were still laughing at my ridiculous suggestion of boomerang. I just wanted to keep them from having any future troubles out of their customers. I know that people have a bad day and then the food that you are purchasing isn't right and things tend to go down hill from there, but sometimes it just gets out of control.

We enjoyed our meal, tipped our Waiter nicely and headed back out to enjoy the remainder of our day.

That experience could have cost someone their job (depending on how many times they had messed up before) or at the very least, caused a Manager of a fine Restaurant to think that some Witch Hazel will really give some bad word of mouth advertising. But no - everyone enjoyed their evening and hopefully a Manager went home and told her husband - you are not going to believe what happened....but these silly ladies..... Hopefully a Manager realized that someone really cares about helping others and Spreading Joy and isn't out there to skin alive those that mess up.

Am I going to receive bad customer service - probably. How will I handle it? Who knows, but it is my desire to handle it the way I would want someone to treat me when I mess up.

My joy for that day - ease the Managers mind while letting them know that some labels are so much in love with their potatoes that they do not want to let go!

That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing. - Simone De Beauvoir


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