Have you ever been taken aback, become angry or felt less than, based on how someone treated you?
Have you been in a situation where based on how someone responded to you, they communicated their personal sentiments in a way that made you feel like you were the lowest of the low, unworthy or unseen?
Let me tell you about a recent experience I had at a restaurant here in Houston, that shall remain nameless. (Just disregard the fact that I had no business buying food outside when I had just finished my grocery shopping less than 30 minutes prior, with the intention of cooking more and eating healthier.)
I called in my order prior to arriving (God forbid I would have to wait !) I had already decided that I was not going to use my debit card, as I have been trying to follow the Dave Ramsey plan of using only cash). As I walked into the restaurant, I immediately noted that both people at the front counter didn’t look, in the least bit, happy. They didn’t make any eye contact with me at all, even though I made it a point to smile and say “Hello”.
Absolutely no response.
I told her I was there to pick up my order and she quoted the amount I owed. Having already gathered my exact change from my purse, I went searching for my $20 bill but couldn’t find it. I quickly pulled out my debit card and handed it to her. Right before she swiped it, I told her to wait because I had found my cash, which I handed her along with the exact change.
I am also certain she rolled her eyes and then gave me back my card. I waited for her to give me my change, but instead of her handing it to me in my hand, the way I gave it to her, she puts it on the counter, spread out, as if we were doing some illegal transaction.
Clearly, she didn’t seem to recognize that I had my hand outstretched to receive my change as well as my food. Then, she put the bag with my food on the counter, completely disregarding my hand again. The entire time during our exchange, she didn’t look up, make eye contact with me, or say anything else to me. By this time, I was a bit surprised, but I say, “Thank you” anyway, laugh out loud to myself, as I pick up my change and food and walk out the door.
As I am turning to leave, she squirts some hand sanitizer on her hand and began rubbing her hands together vigorously.
I was so taken aback by the entire scene and pondered it all the way home, wondering what in the heck just happened.
Maybe she was having a bad day?
Perhaps she was sick and was trying to avoid germs at all cost?
She may have just heard some unpleasant news so she was preoccupied. Who knows?
All I knew was that I was a paying customer and I didn’t leave feeling good about the exchange at all. I am thankful, I decided not to be Petty Betty, lol. When I got home, and was dishing out some of my food to enjoy, I thought about some of the ways I could have responded differently. Perhaps I should have said, “you have a blessed day” or asked her how her day was going.
Then I had an idea, or rather a Holy Spirit inspired thought:
In an effort to being more intentional about becoming God’s best right now, while not allowing others to affect my mood and joy, every time I receive something or a service from someone, especially when I am out and about, I will say, “God bless you” in addition to my usual, “Thank you.”
Considering that everyone is going through something, I really want to be a blessing and extend a blessing to others around me. Perhaps this may be a way to spark a conversation that will lead to Jesus or just an opportunity to be of service to someone else and let them know that I see them.
That day, I determined I am going to change the way I address people.
Let’s see where this goes. I am sure I will have more stories to share soon.
Then the Lord God made a womanGenesis 2:22, NLT
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