Last night, I was at a popular Mexican restaurant, where each dish is prepared as the customer moves from station rather like a customized cafeteria. In front of me was a family of 4: two adolescent girls flanked by a vague, almost unconscious mother and a loud bullying father. Apparently the family suffered from several food allergies, and needed a team of people to complete the order. Certain ingredients should not even touch each other, including corn and flour, which is difficult if not impossible in an eatery filled with tortillas. The patriarch actually yelled at the staff, insisting that several of the attempts to make burrito bowls be tossed in the trash. “You just screwed yourself!” the man bellowed. “That meal is contaminated. I told you not to touch the beans and the corn after touching the cheese!”
As I stood in line, I was silently asking my Higher Power for patience and breathing as slowly as possible. I wanted to say “Look pal, if you are so worried about your daughter’s food allergies, why not cook at home where you can wear goggles and bubble wrap?” But I also knew an altercation with this cretin would only make matters worse, further delaying the people in line behind me, who had already been waiting over 15 minutes. The problem was no longer the Big Mouth. What needed to be repaired were the damaged employees, who had been viciously harassed. I know how one bad apple can really taint my day.
So I decided that a healing was the solution. I let the manager know what happened. He said, “Thank you for letting me know my staff is doing a good job.” He then told me that the young man who took their order was a trainee in his first day. “He is doing a great job. If he can handle this on his first day, he can do anything,” I said.
We are often so quick to criticize or find fault. Yet acknowledging what others do well, or what is right with the world is rarely spoken. The new trainee at Chipotle got a hazing yesterday. But he also got the gift of knowing that he did a great job in a challenging situation and that someone witnessed and acknowledged his work. I am going to keep that in mind as I go through my day today. Compliment, don’t criticize, just for today. Let someone know what a good job they are doing. Their beam of pride will touch the next person and the next person on down the line. Make someone’s day by telling them what they did right.Share post