Setting the example

I hope you begin to see the trend that I (Josiah) spend most of my time each day serving at Chili’s.  Here’s another story of how God’s working in our lives in Orlando.

At the end of my shift I had a table sit down and order Chicken Fried Chicken.  I rang in Country Fried Steak b/c I’m human and I make mistakes.  The food comes out and the three ladies look at it and say, “This isn’t what we ordered.”

No harm so far.  We weren’t busy.  Their food came out literally five minutes after they ordered.  I had my manager swing by and talk to them and we got them their correct order in a matter of 5-10 minutes.  They were still working on their salad and black beans so they weren’t without food at any point.

I bring out their correct order and magically there aren’t any mashed potatoes on the plate.  The lady to my right says, “You got it wrong again, there aren’t any mp’s.”  The lady to my left says, “Stupid.”  (Under her breath but loud enough for me to hear)

I’m furious.  I don’t show it.  I smile and say I’ll be right back with that.  They had mp’s in a matter of 40 seconds.

I continue to wait on them, anticipating their needs with refills and boxes and the whole nine yards.  I figure, I’m not going to let a grumpy old lady steal my joy for the day.

I bring the check and they pay with 100$ bill.  NOTE*  If you go out to eat and your bill is less than 50$  do NOT pay with 100$ bill.  We’re not a bank, we don’t have that kind of cash in our server books at 1pm, especially when everyone else is paying with debit cards.  It’s a huge hassle.

Anyway, I finally scrounge up their change and bring it to them with To-Go drinks.

They leave.

I go to the table to collect the tip but………………there is no tip.  There’s no tip.  They ran up a 50$ check and stiffed me.

I’m fuming.

I look out and see the ladies walking to their van.  On this van, neatly placed on the right side is a Jesus Fish.  Just like this car.

You can only imagine what’s running through my head now.  As I begin to sift through my thoughts to pick an appropriate one to attach to these ladies I look down and see this.


That’s right.  They left their take out boxes full of their left over food.  (There was a lot of it.)

I look out the window and see the ladies having a nervous conversation looking back towards the restaurant wondering if they can sneak back in knowing full well what they just did.

Then it hits me.

I grab the box and run out to their car and say, “Hey ladies!  You forgot your take out food!”  They say anxiously, “yes……yes we did, didn’t we?”  I reply, “I like your Jesus fish.”  “You do?”  “Yes ma’am, I’m a Pastor.”

Silence.

“Oh really?”  “Yes ma’am, well you all have a great day!”

I watched those women talk to each other in bewilderment for the next five minutes as I cleaned their table.  They never came back in and tipped me, I didn’t even really care about the tip that much.  What I did care about was the example I got to set for my co-workers.  I spent the next ten minutes telling and retelling my story to my teammates and they laughed hysterically!  They couldn’t believe, first of all, that I would take those ladies their food after they had stiffed me and then they couldn’t believe how foolish those women must have felt after they received the knowledge that they had just stiffed a local Pastor waiting tables to scrape by.

I had a choice.  I could have cussed those women and bad mouthed them to my teammates and just been another disgruntled server, or I could swallow my pride, take those women their take out food and set an example for my friends at Chili’s that even when people treat you unfairly, you can still love them while exposing their wrong doing without hurting them.

I hope those women learned a valuable lesson today.  As Christians, how can we go to a restaurant, run up a 50$ bill and then not be gracious to the person who served us that meal?  You don’t have to tip 30% to show how awesome Christians are when they go out to eat.  Just be patient, kind, gentle, and generous and maybe people will recognize you by your love.

7 Comments

  1. Hey Josiah,
    Great story…it’s fun to see where the Lord takes a situation when you go against your first impulse and follow His lead…
    I wrote a song called “Fish on our Cars”
    (to the tune of “We Are One in the Spirit”)
    Here are the lyrics (I’d love for you to record it and have a hit – then neither one of us would have to work extra jobs!)

    “Fish on our Cars”
    words and music by Jim Black
    © 2006 lauriejomusic

    We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord
    We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord
    And we’ll tell everybody from our Chevy and our Ford

    They will know we are Christians
    By the fish on our cars
    They will know we are Christians by our cars

    We will sit with each other in a pew or a chair
    We will sit with each other in a pew or a chair
    And we’ll pray that non-believers will discover us there

    They will know we are Christians
    By the fish on our cars
    They will know we are Christians by our cars

    We will work on committees, We will work side by side
    We will work on committees, We will work side by side
    And we’ll study together Robert’s Rules as our guide

    They will know we are Christians
    By the fish on our cars
    They will know we are Christians by our cars

    We will walk with each other, We will walk for a cause
    We will walk with each other, We will walk for a cause
    And we’ll raise up new leadership to change all the laws

    They will know we are Christians
    By the fish on our cars
    They will know we are Christians by our cars

    All praise to the makers of the t-shirts we wear
    And all praise to the sloganeers who help us boldly share
    And all praise to the retailers who sell them to us there

    They will know we are Christians
    By the fish on our cars
    They will know we are Christians…honk if you agree
    And they’ll know we are Christians…they have eyes, Why can’t they see?
    And they’ll know we are Christians…what more do they want from me?!
    They will know we are Christians by our cars…
    (spoken) What would Jesus drive?

  2. Good on ya, Potter. From this point forward, I will always refer to mashed potatoes as MP’s.

  3. What else is new?!
    Josiah, I work at a public access television station. The lost are the easiest people to work with. Christians call me daily and curse me for glitches in their audio or video. It is non-stop with these idiots. I can’t stand them. I know I’m a sinner too, but I don’t go around parading the name of Christ and then spitting on others. I would bet large sums that you get your best tips from drunken fools.

    • you are right Amos, it’s mighty easier working with the lost sometimes

  4. I think this is great. Thanks for posting it and sharing your story.

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