This I Believe

JoseAlonso - Georgetown, Texas
Entered on October 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Being able to provide service to others is quite a daunting challenge in many respects, especially in the food industry. It is a job that often calls for countless scenarios of humiliation and the ability to set aside dignity. This is exactly why no matter where I go, big or small, I believe in going out of my way to respect those who serve me.

It was my senior year in high school when I personally came to experience the humility and disrespect workers in the food industry have to deal with. Needing money, I decided to get a job in a local café in my neighborhood. It would have been a simple enough job but, I realized after a couple of days the effort and restraint that goes into serving.

I can remember one day specifically. I was working the night shift when a woman in her mid forties came in and asked for a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. We usually weren’t busy during the night but this time was different. Taking a little more than ten minutes I was finally able to make my way over to her. I set her order down when she began criticizing the amount of time it took me to bring her what she asked for. It eventually got to the point where my manager had to come and settle the situation. Because we followed the motto of the customer is always right, we had no other option but to give her the order free of charge. It took every ounce of self control to put up with the humility I faced that day. All I could say was, “Sorry for the wait Mama’ we’ve been really busy today”. It did no good. I couldn’t believe the lack of consideration she had for me and the workers there. Not once did she say “thank you” or “I understand for the wait”. This is the day I changed the way I acted towards those who serve me.

Before this experience I never cared if I made a bigger mess for the people working there or if I had a lack of respect for them. After all that was their job, to put up with me, right? I never took there jobs seriously, but now I understand the restraint it takes to not spit in an inconsiderate customers food. I would never do this of course but that’s exactly what you’d feel like doing when you’re humiliated in front of a big crowd of people.

I now see that jobs, involved in the food industry, whether temporary or permanent, is just as important as lawyers or even doctors. Obviously in a different sense, but there is still no reason to treat these people any differently. They desire simple things, such as patience, respect, acknowledgement, and the same dignity every human wants. We are all equal and should be treated like that, regardless of our professions.