I often use Denny’s as my place to pause and think or write. On a recent day, I experienced a quiet thoughtfulness that speaks loudly.
I was there to think and reflect. The waitress seemed to recognize immediately that the most appreciated service would be minimal attention. She did not overpower me with her attention, but used it sparingly and wisely.
I had jotted a few notes on the back of a napkin while waiting for my order. After it arrived, I bowed my head for a short prayer and when I looked up there was a notepad and pen next to my knife and fork. She had noticed and she acted without a formal request and without fanfare. That is service…whether in a restaurant, or in an office or at home. Serve by noticing, not only by request or in hopes of some “exchange” of money, favors or power. Just serve.
I had a small notebook in my pocket (the one in the photo) so I really didn’t need what she had provided, but her subtle attentiveness was the sort of re-affirmation about kindness that I needed at the moment. So, in addition to a healthy tip, I left her a note. It simply said, “Thank you. You are kind and thoughtful.” and included a smiley face.
Serving is a wonderful thing, as is thanking. Take the time to do either or both. It is the least we can do for each other.