How to be a Good Customer

…also known as How to Behave as Your Mother Taught You!

Monday morning, I experienced how being a good customer (aka PERSON) can lead to much more than a good cup of coffee.

At the breakfast buffet, I sat quietly while my very beautiful waitress poured me a cup of coffee. I observed her accent and asked her where she was from…

“The Ukraine” was her answer. I was intrigued and asked her if she missed home. She said that she’d been here a year and was here with her fiancee, so it wasn’t so bad. I agreed and smiled as she left to serve other customers.

There was a less friendly lady near me that believed she was entitled to a free buffet, but had no card saying so. She loudly discussed this with our server; who quietly asked her manager to verify. The manager continued the discussion and then checked at the front desk for the woman. It turned out, her group rate didn’t allow the complimentary breakfast. The woman still loudly insisted. To which the manager calmly explained that she could take it up further with the front desk. She stormed off with her laptop, “It’s on the website”!

When she came back, she explained to her companion that she indeed was wrong; that the group rate didn’t allow the free breakfast. She laughed it off, saying the print was so small. No apology to either our server nor the manager about the scene she’d caused.

After that, I noticed that no one went out of their way to do extra for her. They served her well, but not extra.

In the meantime, for me, the server kept my coffee topped up and warm and asked me where I was from. I asked her more questions each time she came to my table. I learned these things about the beautiful girl from the Ukraine:

  1. She’d been here for a year and was here with her fiancee
  2. She also modeled sometimes as another job
  3. She used to dance ballroom dancing in the Ukraine and missed it
  4. She is too busy working to have fun with her dancing
  5. But, she does have a cat and that makes her happy
  6. She’s been to Calgary once before and found it very beautiful there
  7. She works here every day and likes coffee too 🙂
I tipped her well as I left. Partly because I wanted to truly say Thank You and apologize for that other woman. Partly because I believed that this was a hard-working young woman, trying to make her way and I could help a little at least. Partly because I felt so good getting to know that this server also happened to be a person with hopes, dreams and a gorgeous smile.
The lesson about being a good customer? Take the time to see that the person serving you is just that; a PERSON who deserves courtesy, respect and a friendly smile. You’ll be surprised at the affect it has on them, and most of all, the affect it has on YOU!
UPDATE: and this morning I learned that she rides the bus to work and that the weather outside wasn’t as nice as the day before.
And my coffee NEVER got cold…and I started the day by saying “Hello” to a new friend 🙂
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One thought on “How to be a Good Customer

  1. So true Shawna, from the waitress, to the plumber, to the Queen, we are all the same — with feelings and emotions, and lives which are all equally important:) Have a great day, these are awesome.
    LAF,
    ME

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