Offering Service

“How did we do?”, the survey asks.  Well, he came to the door, handed me the parcel, took a photo.  I said, “thank you”.  He smiled and hurried off down the path to deliver the rest of his 132 parcels.

I was in New York for my godson’s wedding.  It was all very new and exciting and a little disorienting.  I climbed out of the yellow taxi, bag in hand, paid the fare, added a bit for a tip and strode towards the hotel entrance.  Immediately a bell boy grabbed my bag.  I didn’t need his help, but I was expected to accept it and, of course, most important, to tip him. 

I noticed in small print, at the bottom of the Mothering Sunday menu, a note which said that a discretionary 10% service charge would be added to the bill.  I would have preferred to express my thanks for by asking for 10% to be added to the bill.

Some people doing something as part of their paid work look as though they are serving you under sufferance.  You are a means to an end.  Others do it efficiently, but without any sense of connection.  No smile, no passing comment.  And sometimes there is someone who serves you with a relaxed kindness, with grace.  For that moment, they focus on you.  They give you their attention.  Attention is love.  And that is true service.

Chris Dawson

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