Before going home from church this morning, I decided to make a quick stopover at the supermarket to buy a few ingredients and to take out lunch for myself. While I was paying for the groceries, I was already daydreaming of hot and delicious Pork Katsudon from Hanako (one of the newly opened restaurants in the supermarket). However, I got a bit distracted because I noticed that my plastic bags with raw meat and shrimp were placed beside the fresh vegetables in the same brown paper bag. As soon as I saw it, I asked the guy who was putting the items in the bags if he separated the raw food from the fresh ones and he said “yes”.
The lady in the cashier realized that the man didn’t really separate the items because she immediately explained to the guy and asked him to put the raw food in a smaller brown paper bag before putting it in the bigger paper bag with the other items. After he was instructed by the cashier lady, he slightly grumbled and said: “Kaunti lang naman yun eh. Hindi naman madudumihan yung mga katabi.” He quietly tried to justify that the few pieces of raw meat and shrimp wouldn’t contaminate the fresh vegetables even if they were placed inside the same paper bag.
I was quite disappointed with the bagger’s service and I was tempted to explain the contamination process to him. But, I decided not to make a big deal out of it and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was his first day at work or maybe he had a rough morning today. Besides, the lady at the cashier seemed like she understands the process well. Maybe she can guide the guy and help him become more efficient and excellent in bagging the items.
I left the grocery store with two medium sized paper bags and quickly walked towards Hanako. As soon as I got to the place, I paid for one order of Pork Katsudon (Php 189) and patiently waited at one of their tables. After around 7 minutes, my take-out was ready! The quick service was pretty impressive. The lady server (Marsha) placed the brown paper bag with my Pork Katsudon on the table beside my two other brown paper bags from the grocery store. While I was preparing to leave, I noticed that she was still standing beside me and was looking at the three paper bags on the table. Just when I was about to stand up from my seat, she quickly asked me if I wanted a plastic bag to help me carry the paper bags easily. I was surprised by her simple effort and I smiled at her and said “yes, please.”
She rushed to the kitchen area and immediately went back to my table. Without me asking or saying anything to her, she initiated to put my Hanako paper bag and another one of my paper bags in the plastic. I thanked her, got the plastic bag and paper bag, and went home feeling grateful.
While I was driving home, I couldn’t help but compare the two instances that I had in a span of 10 minutes. I experienced a not-so-good kind of service from the bagger at the grocery store and then unexpectedly, I experienced a simple yet excellent kind of service from one of Hanako’s staff members. It was only just a plastic bag and I could have carried the three paper bags using my two arms and hands. But, somehow, this small act of excellent service made it more convenient for me. I didn’t have to worry about having ripped paper bags on the way to the basement parking or I didn’t have to struggle with looking for the car keys in my bag while carrying three other paper bags. Marsha (the server at Hanako) didn’t have to give me a plastic bag, but because she saw my need for it, she did and it had a huge impact on me!
I then wondered if I too am also able to intentionally and humbly show excellence in the workplace, in ministry, or even in the way I communicate with the people around me. This morning’s experience reminded of the importance of being sensitive to the needs of others and being faithful in excellently serving the Lord whenever and wherever.
“Do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” [Colossians 3:22-24]
Thank you, Hanako, for the excellent customer service and of course, for the generous serving of delicious Pork Katsudon. I will definitely be back for more. :)
Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)