I wondered what it was that made these people feel so superior, eating, frankly in a little dumpy diner here in Saginaw, Michigan that they felt they had the right to put themselves above this hard working gal. Hmmm, or was it just that they were the "not so nice" kind of people that you truly hope in your business you never have to deal with no matter how tough times become?
Anyway, it made me realize one thing for sure....you cannot always judge a book by its cover, nor can you assume that every customer went to "the school of good manners" because quite simply not everyone has.
However, it did allow me to also assess this situation and my own response to human interactions a bit differently than my initial impressions. I had to ask myself...what if the waitress did hear the comments from these people? Maybe, just maybe - she made a conscientious decision not to let them bring her down...maybe she is just so grateful to be employed that she isn't going to let anyone rain on her parade...and just maybe she is secure in the knowledge that she is a good person, hard working, who takes pride in any job she does so things like this just roll off her back?
At any rate - it taught me too, that you cannot always predict the interaction you are about to face when working with the public - but you can control your own attitude. As Charles Swindoll says:
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.