What We Admire About Service People

A Happy Server and Great Meal at the White Elephant Thai Restaurant, Amsterdam

They have often thankless jobs, yet they usually are the difference between a regular meal and a spectacular meal or a regular hotel stay and a great hotel stay. They wait on us travelers hand and foot as we fly, ride the rails, get our shoes shined, enjoy a beer, take a cab, order a double-shot venti blah-blah, and complete countless other overlooked mundane and exceptional tasks alike. Their moods are infectious, a great smile making our food taste that much better and the memories being that much more special.

Lori and I have more degrees between us than we should admit. We’ve been executives and professionals and have had great careers, but there’s something wonderful to admire about the service people that make traveling that much more enjoyable. You don’t always interact with your fellow travelers, commuters, or pedestrians, but you will inevitably interact with a waiter or bartender or barista. It’s that opportunity to connect with people that makes those service people so worth admiring.

Too many people think of service people as in an “interim” place in their career: surely they’re working on a degree to do “something better” with their lives. How could the opportunity to connect with people, the chance to make people happy on a regular basis, not be a good career choice? Not to mention the very serious personal benefit of being able to leave work and not think about it until the next day: for more than 2 decades we’ve endured sleepless nights, worrying about employees, students, clients, projects, and more. For a perspective-changing experience, read this book.

The next time you have a really great server, be sincere when you thank them. Share their smiles and their laughter with them. Admire them for what they do and the practical impact they have on so many people’s day-to-day lives. We promise you’ll enjoy your meal, your hotel, your flight, or your double-shot venti blah-blah a whole lot more.

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