A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I went to a restaurant to grab a bite to eat. We ate at a well-known franchise restaurant, nothing too fancy. Though we’ve been to this restaurant a number of times, this particular day, our experience was different. The service has never been horrible; it’s usually pretty decent. A friendly server named Ashley greeted us. At first glance, Ashley was just like all of the other servers that we’d encountered at the restaurant. She was dressed the same. She took our order the same as the waiters who had served us at the restaurant before. Nothing was out of the ordinary . . .initially. By the end of the night, Ashley had proven to be different from any other server we’d come across.
Ashley was kind and attentive. She always seemed to be a step ahead when it came to serving our table. Before we could ask for anything, she had already had taken the initiative to get things done. She had efficiency as well as foresight. She knew menu well. She knew the restaurant policies. When we struggled to use the paying device at the table, she immediately knew what was wrong and became our tech-savvy hero. Not only had she anticipated any problems, but after their discovery, she had already strategized the proper solution.
My friend and I quickly became aware that this girl was definitely on top of her game. She easily stood out among any of the servers we had ever had before—not just at this restaurant, but in ANY restaurant we had ever been too. We were so in awe of her incredible service, we just had to tell her what a great job she’d done. When we called her over to express our gratitude, she graciously accepted the compliment. However, what she told us next left us floored. THIS. WAS. HER. FIRST. DAY. We could not believe it. How is that even possible?! This young woman was so great at her job; we’d assumed that she’d been a veteran in the restaurant industry. In fact, I’ve experienced great waitressing before, but none of them had even come close to her level of attentiveness, competence, or efficiency.
My friend and I insisted that she call the manager so we could inform him of how well she was doing. When the manager walked over, we were stoned face, not giving him the slightest indication of what was going on. He was a bit hesitant when approaching our table, but then he asked if everything was okay and whether or not we had any concerns. Then my friend and I broke into smiles and said something like, “Ashley was AMAZING! You all definitely need to keep her on your staff.” Then we went on and on gloating about her amazing service. He smiled, seeming pleased, and thanked us for our feedback.
So, what’s the big deal? Why am I taking the time to make a huge fuss in a blog post about the waitress who served my table? Firstly, I think that, unfortunately, great service is hard to come by these days, so it’s refreshing when you experience it. Furthermore, whenever you experience wonderful service, I think it’s important to compliment and encourage someone in that field because they do not have easy job dealing with people on a regular basis. They have to deal with so many preferences, outlandish requests, and a variety of attitudes. (Trust me, I know because I used to bus tables a long time ago. The stories that I could tell ya . . .)
Secondly, I learned something important that day that I felt obligated to share with my readers. You do not have to be limited by the restrictive low expectations of those in your environment. You don’t have to fall victim to their assumptions of mediocrity. You can excel exponentially beyond the measures placed around you.
Ashley provided impeccable service leaving an unbelievable impression on my friend and me. Though we expected nothing out of the ordinary, she exceeded our expectations. She wasn’t limited in the quality of service that she provided simply because it was her first day. She took the limits off, and so should we. Each day we should strive to not only to do better, but also to BE better individuals. How someone handles the position of service is very foretelling of a person’s character, and Ashley’s character speaks volumes. Individuals like Ashley should not only be commended, but should be esteemed as role models of how to be considerate and treat people with kindness and respect.
We should strive to provide quality service, no matter whom it’s for. I’m sure when she went to work that day, she probably didn’t think that the service she provided would inspire someone to write a blog about it, but it did. Now no matter the journey she takes in the future, she now has a documented account of the impression that she’s left on a stranger. Maybe future employers or business partners will look at this as a reference on how professional and wonderful she is. In the future, she is free to refer to this link if she likes (and I hope she will), because I’ll back her 100%. Good on ya, Ashley! You were absolutely amazing! And to the “Ashleys” of the world who are approaching life the same way—in such a diligent and thoughtful manner—thank YOU!