Friday, January 24, 2020

It's My Pleasure

True story: Words simply cannot convey the very real pleasure my job is to me.

Yesterday included one of many occasions I have had to serve someone who is eating at Chick-fil-A for the first time. Now, whenever I learn that a person is making their initial visit, I make a point of welcoming them and letting them know I am glad they've come. And I take extra care to explain the way we do things - like the table markers, and sauces, and beverage re-fills.
But yesterday when "Sam" came in, he brought additional opportunities for me to pour out kindness. First, he had come quite a distance to get to us, so I showered him with love for making the drive. Second, he had no clue what he was doing or what to order, so I was able to "hold his hand" though the process and make him feel comfortable. And, third, he was taking lunch back home to his wife, so I let him know what a great guy he was for thinking of her - and I was able to help him pick things she might like.
That entire interaction was a joy to me. And to him, too, I hope!

Then there was "Will." He wasn't having the best of days, but something I said led to him responding with a smile. And I said, "Ahhhh, you smiled!" And his smile grew a bit more, even with a small chuckle. I told him then, "I want to take your order and get you the meal you desire, but my greater goal is for your day to be brighter." "You have accomplished your goal," he said with another smile.
And my heart beamed.

Near the end of the day I was beginning to worry because I had been given one of our cow mascot plush toys to give away to someone, and I had yet to meet the child to whom I felt led to give it. But then my co-worker saw some siblings come in with (I'm guessing) their grandma and he said, "Maybe that's them!"
After Grandma placed their order I said, "OK. Now I'm hoping you can help me with a little problem I'm having," and I brought the cow into their view. "My cow is very lonely, and I need to find friends for him who will love him and take very good care of him. Can you please help me? I really need somebody to take care of my cow and love him well." And I'm telling you, the eyes in these kids just lit up.
Initially I had a slight concern abput whether "sharing" the cow would be a problem, but as we interacted I could see that this brother and sister would work well together in giving my cow a good home - and I believe the delight in my heart matched the happiness in theirs as I handed "Chick-fil-A" over to them. (That's what they decided to name him. Chick-fil-A.)

I could go on with stories just from yesterday which bring me joy, but I'll stop with these three.
The thing is, every day I want to be where God wants me to be, doing what HE wants me to do. I just want to be a conduit of His love to this world in which I'm living. And each day I'm at work I have the very real sense that HE is giving me those opportunities.
Ahhhh, it's my pleasure!!!

Karen

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Current Contents of my Bathroom Cabinet

My husband and I have a running joke about "making Grandma Hossink proud."
That is, Brian's grandmother was known for her dutch-ness.
For being frugal.
For using every last drop of a thing before throwing it away.
Thus, when I refuse to dispose of an item because I am convinced there is at least one more serving or portion or usage or bit in it, I joyfully defend myself declare, "Grandma Hossink would be so proud!"

And those were precisely the words which went through my mind as I noticed the extent to which I was *ahem* honoring her with my toiletries. Check this out:

This is my current deodorant container. I mean, I have a new bottle, but I'm still using this one because - clearly - it still contains product. Granted, I have to use a cotton swab to extract the product, and my finger to apply it. But this stuff isn't cheap (And I am!!!) and I don't want to throw any of it away. So I'll keep on being thrifty until the last of it is used.

This bottle is my moisturizer. A week or so ago it seemd to be empty, but when I put it away upside down I proved to myself that it wasn't. Actually, both last night and this morning I truly thought I had gotten the last of it. Yet here it still sits, because I have a feeling I can squeeze one more usage out of it.

And finally, there's this. (Which, technically, is from a drawer and not my cabinet. But who's being technical???) Do you see in the lower left corner, the one remaining bit of blush? I could have thrown this make-up away weeks ago when I bought its replacement, but that would have made Grandma sad. And I would much rather make her proud. Which I'm sure I did by crushing that little bit of blush with my tweezers, and capturing the crumbs on my blush brush - to apply one last time to my cheeks.

Ah, yes.
I never had the opportunity to meet Grandma Hossink. She passed many years before I even met Brian. But I'm sure we would have been fast friends, as we compared notes on being frugal, and encouraged one another on in our efforts to use every last drop. *wink*

Karen

Monday, January 20, 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020

It's My Pleasure

What do you do when you make a mistake?

At Chick-fil-A we try to turn our mistakes into blessings.
Specifically, what I mean is, when our dessert maker accidentally prepares the wrong shake - or when a guest changes their mind about what kind of iced coffee they want, after their original order has already been prepared - or something along those lines, which leaves us with an unwanted tasty treat - we like to "surprise and delight."
Every now and then when I am at the drive-thru window a co-worker will place one of those items at my side with the words, "Here. Surprise and delight someone." And I set out to notice somebody who seems to need a lift in their day, or who simply looks like they would truly be delighted by a treat.
And, can I tell you?
It really is my pleasure when I see the smile on a person's face as I hand them a free goodie.
Indeed, some people are very happy about our mistakes!

So, this whole making lemonade out of lemons thing (Hey, did you know we do that at Chick-fil-A, too???) has had me thinking this week: When unexpected events pop up, when things aren't going as we intended, how can we turn the situation around to surprise and delight someone???

Karen

Friday, January 10, 2020

It's My Pleasure

Last week an elderly gentleman approached my register to order lunch. He was standing alone but was ordering for two, and he wasn't sure which menu item he was supposed to select. He said, "Last time we shared a salad. It was big enough for both of us, it was very tasty, and it was around $8. Do you know which one that would be?"
"Well," I said, "we have several tasty salads."
I glanced at the wall behind me where the menu is located but quickly realized referring to it would be useless. The salads were on the opposite end from where we were standing, and besides, this gentleman seemed a bit hard of hearing. I knew he wouldn't be able to understand me while I read the menu, because I would have to be turned away from him so I could see it...
I happen to know, however, that we have printed menus in a little cubby on the wall. So I walked around the counter and grabbed one, then went to the gentleman who wanted to order a salad to share with his wife. We stood side by side and I showed him the descriptions of each of the salads on our menu. And when we read about the Market Salad he said, "Yes! That's the one!"
Satisfied that we had solved the mystery, I put the menu away and went back behind the counter to put his order into the register. As I was entering the information we decided on a salad dressing, and discussed how the lid from the salad could be used as a second plate. We also agreed they would probably both like to have a cup of water for a drink. And as we were finishing up, this very sweet gentleman said to me, "I am 94 years old. Thank you for being so gentle with me today."

True statement: The memory of that interaction still delights my heart. And the sincere gratitude expressed by that 94-year-old man inspires me to seek more ways to be gentle with everyone I meet.

Karen

Thursday, January 09, 2020

When Your Adult Child "Gets It"

Josh came over for dinner Monday night, and - I'm telling you - he had some of the most delightful things to say. That is, I found great joy in *almost* hearing him say, "Mom, you were right all along!"
It went a little like this:
While talking about his roommate's cleaning habits, "I don't think he has ever emptied the trash. Sometimes I think I just won't do it, because eventually he has to see that it needs to be done. But he doesn't! Mom, I think I feel like you have felt."
Regarding cleaning the kitchen, "He doesn't even wipe the counter. Ever. I scrub the dishes, but he just leaves food all over them. I'm the only one who cares!"
And as I'm listening, I'm thinking, Yes, son. I know exactly how you're feeling. Exactly. And can I just say? What goes around comes around...
Those observations made me chuckle to myself, but it was his final adulting-is-hard comment which made me laugh out loud. Josh was telling us about an opportunity he might have in the coming year to go on a fishing trip, but which would cost upward of $200 for an airplane ticket. And while he was sharing his story - actually all through dinner - Cleo was making lots of noise by dropping her ball on the floor.
Thud.
Over and over and over.
Thud.
Matthew, who has been working lots of hours, saving his money (and happily updating his computer with those savings) asked with a sense of disbelief, "What? Why can't you come up with $200?"
With equal disbelief Josh looked at his you-have-no-idea-what-it's-like-to-do-this-adulting-thing brother and said, "Do you hear that ball dropping? That's why I can't save up $200."
And I just burst out laughing.
You see, my husband used to mock his dad's infamous statement, "You can't have nice things when you have kids!" But sometime in the past 23 years - between the simple cost of having kids, and the amount of damage those darlings do to household items - Brian has come to understand why his dad lamented as he did. In fact, more than once I have heard Brian make the same claim. So I couldn't help but display my amusement when I witnessed the baton being passed to the next generation.
Ahhh, Josh loves his pup. But he's facing the reality that loving and caring for another living being has a literal cost. (And I love seeing the sacrifice he's willing to make for his sweet companion.)
But I also have to laugh, because there is a real sense of satisfaction in seeing your adult child finally understanding the things you've been saying and feeling for years!

Karen