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.
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.
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.”
“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.