Small things…

It looks like Hurricane Gustav didn’t harm any of my friends. Thank god for small favors. Now if they can just make it through the other three hurricanes currently winding their way across the Gulf, I’ll be happy.

So far this has been a good week; much better than I had expected to be honest. Normally the work week following a holiday is unusually hectic, and that pattern is holding true. What is different this week is that it has been both hectic and productive. That combination doesn’t happen often.

Last night’s SCA Business meeting was a pleasant surprise. Usually our business meetings are long, unproductive, and somewhat argumentative. We meet at Southwest State Tech, and this semester there are classes meeting in the rooms on either side of the room we use, and that has proven to be a good thing; it means we have to keep the meetings relatively quiet. We can’t get involved in loud, vociferous, pointless arguments over minor issues; unfortunately we can get involved in quiet, vociferous, pointless arguments over minor issues. That didn’t happen last night. Somehow we managed to stay on track, focussed, and the discussions were productive. I live for the day when all of our meetings could be described in that manner.

After the meeting the Dragons had dinner at the new Lonestar restaurant. As usual, there were about nine of us, and as usual, we had a pretty good time. We always have a good time when we are together. The unusual part was the fact that we had both good service, and a good meal.

We go out for dinner after every meeting, and it is not all unusual for there to be 8-10 of us. We know that no restaurant staff wants to see such a large group come in, and because we know that we go out of our way to make things as easy as possible for the waiter or waitress that has to serve us. Unfortunately, all to often we get service that could best be described as incompetant. Sometimes we get service that is just bad: meals given to the wrong customer, not prepared as requested, long wait times between drinks being refilled, etc. etc.

None of that happened last night. The place had only been opened for a couple of weeks, but you would have thought it had been opened for years. Our waitress, Jen,  was professional, knowledgable, and, most important, friendly. She got all the orders to the right customers, the  food was prepared exactly as ordered, and she kept all of our drinks filled.

At one point the Manager came by the table to check that everything was ok, and all nine of us made a point of telling her what an excellent job the waitress was doing and how pleased we all were. It was quite apparent that the manager was not used to people going out of their way to compliment her staff, and she took great delight in telling her waitress that we had complimented her professionalism and friendliness. It’s amazing how such a small thing, just telling someone they are doing a good job, can mean so much to people. As we were leaving Jenn came by and said, “If you guys ever come back, ask for my section, I’d love to be your server again. You guys made my day”.

No one thinks twice about complaining when they receive bad service, however, we often forget to give compliments when the service is good, and I personally think that is more important. Managers are used to hearing complaints – some justified, some not- but it has been my experience that very few are used to hearing compliments. When they do, it surprises them, and they are always eager to pass it on to their staff. Such a small thing can really make somebody’s day.