A Table In Maria’s Section
I’ve been writing quite a bit lately, but I am about to get busy and hit the road again. So, before I do, I wanted to share this article with you in hope that it will inspire you like it did me. Enjoy.
I found this great little home-owned café in my town a few months ago that makes a great breakfast. It’s one of those places you can smell the aroma from the parking lot. It is just as you would imagine; checkered cloths on the tables and a stack of extra chairs are located against the wall, just in case they are needed (they usually are!). The only contemporary event that takes place, is that you must wait to be seated.
On my first visit, I was waiting in line for my turn to be seated, when the couple in front of me asked if they could be seated in Maria’s section. I did not think much of it at the time until my next visit when the same thing happened again. A gentleman asked if there were any tables in Maria’s section. Now I was curious…what was so special about Maria’s section? Did it have a better view, was the room nicer; what? I had to find out so when it was my turn, I too asked if there were any tables in Maria’s section…there were.
As I glanced at the menu to look at all the options (although I already had my mind made up) I looked up and coming into our section of the café, was the biggest smile carrying a coffee pot I had ever seen! She walked up and down the aisle, filling coffee cups, asking if there was anything she could do and conversing with folks like she had known them her entire life. As she approached me she said “Good Morning” My name is Maria and I am happy you stopped in our café for breakfast. May I start you with some coffee?”
Keep in mind that her job description probably did not require her to tell me her name, afterall it was right there on her badge. And she probably was not required to tell me she was happy to see me…but you could tell she genuinely was! The entire time she was waiting on customers, she had this heir about her that she really loved what she was doing. Whether it was delivering hot plates or clearing dirty ones, she did each task with a purpose and an attitude of how much she enjoyed her job!
Needless to say, when I left that day, I too felt as if I had known Maria my entire life. There is just something about a person with a positive, welcoming approach to life and to work, that draws you to them. Maria like all of us, has the ability to make the best or the worst of what we do day after day. I don’t know if Maria’s goal in life is to be a waitress, if it is, she will make the hall of fame. If she wants to pursue other aspirations, I can’t help but believe the doors will be wide open.
Here is the point. We need to make our customers feel like they are sitting in Maria’s section every day. Waiting in line so to speak to do business with you! We need to enjoy and be thankful for our opportunities and make the most of our day. Regardless of what you do, if you are fortunate to get up tomorrow morning and go to work, you are blessed.
Now hold on; I know things aren’t always going to run smoothly. I am sure there were days that Maria may not have felt like being so outgoing, and perhaps just before she came down the aisle to refill all those empty coffee cups, she may have had an encounter with a disgruntled customer. The point is that if she did, you never knew it. She never showed it. She just kept making the most of her day. I learned a lot about running my business and my life from the events I witnessed in this cozy little café.
So as I draw this writing to a close, it is my hope is that you too will learn a valuable lesson from a waitress named Maria; to be thankful and make the most of every day; to make each customer feel like a welcomed friend.
Tomorrow has a new opportunity for me. I think I’ll start off with a good breakfast…hope there’s a table in Maria’s section!