“Service with a Wink,” New Era, Jan. 2005, 26
The summer before my junior year of high school, I took my first job as a cashier at a fast-food restaurant. The first couple of days were a little shaky. But as time passed, I became one of the fastest button pushers and food gatherers you’ve ever seen.
One day halfway through the summer, it seemed like nothing was going right. Some orders had come out wrong, and the customers were not happy. I had been yelled at more than once. Several times, customers demanded to see my manager. I worried that this one bad day would get me fired.
Soon after the crowds had gone, two young boys came in. When I read their order back to them, the older boy used the Lord’s name in vain and said, “Can’t you get anything right?” I apologized and fixed the mistake. When he handed me a ten-dollar bill, I realized there weren’t enough one-dollar bills to make change. I explained this to the boy, and he cursed again.
As I was putting their order together, I noticed an elderly woman in line talking to the older boy. When I handed him his order, he looked down and apologized for what he had said.
When the woman reached the counter, she said, “I can’t believe how that boy treated you. There was no reason for such behavior.”
I smiled and told her it didn’t bother me. “It’s all right; I’m used to it.” I turned to put the lid on her drink and was surprised that I felt like I was going to cry. I guess it was because someone understood and took the time to talk to me decently.
When I gave her the order, she handed me one-dollar bills to pay for it. I looked up at her, and she said, “I overheard you say you needed one-dollar bills.” Then she winked at me and left.
The rest of the day didn’t seem so bad. I never saw her again, and I don’t think she knew how much she helped me that day. We don’t always know why certain people come into our lives, but this woman was there to help me when I needed it.
No one should ever have to say “It’s all right; I’m used to it.” Now I try extra hard to be nice to people every day. Then, before I go to bed, I ask myself, “Was someone’s day made better or a burden made lighter because of coming in contact with me?” When the answer is yes, the feeling is wonderful.