We have had quite a 3+ month span in the Miller house since returning from China with Gia Pearl. We've worked as hard as we can to establish and nurture a Godly and healthy attachment with our new little girl. Like any family, this has come with ups, downs, challenges, successes, laughter, and tears. But we have been beyond blessed during each and every step of this journey. Things have happened in our family that have caused us to be even more grateful for one another, and to also not take for granted the loved ones in our immediate and extended family.
Despite all the reminders that God gives us of all the things we can be thankful for, and despite all the opportunities that we enjoy, we don't always show that gratitude in our daily actions. We take one another for granted, lose patience with one another, and don't show love when we don't feel like it. We complain about our jobs, traffic, construction, mattresses that make us uncomfortable, coffee that isn't just right, or just the busy-ness that seems to inevitably take over day after day.
This last Friday was the first time in a long time we haven't been traveling, out of town, or at a doctor appointment. We decided to make an impromptu trip to CDA to do some needed shopping and maybe go out to eat, as a family. Speaking of taking things for granted, how amazing is it that a little brave girl, a few months ago, in China, could not go 100 feet in a car, without getting severe car sickness, can now sit in the back seat with her sisters and smile, laugh, point out things she has English words for, without a hint of sickness. And what is even more amazing is that she is not taking any Dramamine whatsoever.
But I digress. Speaking of our attitudes, I have a rotten one when it comes to Costco trips. Something about a super crowded warehouse of people buying things in super-sized quantities, not only stresses me out, but makes me bitter and angry, especially when I see people being impatient and inconsiderate. But this night was different. The girls were super helpful and cooperative, and I think I made it throughout the entire shopping excursion without even a hint of stress or impatience. What happened next was something that impacted me greatly.
We decided to go to Wendy's for dinner. It is one of our favorite "fast food" places because it is relatively inexpensive, fast, and we all like the menu. Who doesn't like burgers, fries, and Frosties!? Anyway, we go to order and I immediately notice the gentleman, (we'll call him Brian for this story) that is working the counter is different. He's exceptionally polite, courteous, and extremely good at his job. This in itself is rare these days. It seems like you can't go anywhere without running into people who obviously just don't like their job. Brian helps us with utmost patience, as we coordinate the orders of 3 little girls, and two adults, changing our mind throughout the entire process. Brian not only tallies our order quickly, but he also tells us we saved 4 bucks on some promotion we didn't even know about. He then communicates our order to his co-workers and assembles our dinner in a short time. He must have said enjoy your meal 3 times and even came out to clean tables and check on us while we were eating.
While we enjoyed our family time, I observed Brian showing the same awesome attitude and courtesies to the next few families and groups that came in after us. It was refreshing. It was a really good reminder for me, and Amy and I shared my observation with her. I said, I want to tell him how much I appreciate his kindness. So I go up to order Frosties for me and my girls and I reach into my wallet and pull out a modest tip and fold it neatly. Of course, Brian is helping someone else with utmost kindness again. I finally get to order and upon getting 5 frosties in expedient fashion, I say to Brian, "I want you to know that you are one of the kindest, most courteous, friendly service person I have encountered in months, and I really appreciate it. I know you probably aren't supposed to take tips, but I'm not giving you a choice. I want you to have this tip just because." It felt good to let someone know how much they had impacted me.
This is where it gets even better. Brian, with a smile on his face says "Thank you very much. I've worked 6 years at a call center and here, which is my 2nd job, so I have to have good customer service." I followed up with more thank-yous and went back to my girls. As we left, Brian gave a heartfelt "have a great night," as we walked out the door. It was at that moment that it hit me. All my petty frustrations, stress, and hardships, were merely my choice. This guy is working 2 jobs, and both are what I would consider stressful and even somewhat undesirable, yet here he was impacting and inspiring me, and my wife, on a Friday night impromptu family dinner.
I learned a lesson Friday, and I think we all can take a lesson from Brian at Wendy's. We have much to be thankful for, and most of the time, our attitude is how we choose to act towards others. If we would just take a little more time to show kindness to others, it would go a long way. Thank you Brian.