Working at an establishment that is full parts Bed & Breakfast, Cafe, and Wine Bar, is a daily adventure. It means I often become a one-woman wonder of a show, juggling reservations, liquor orders, phone calls, and waitressing. All at once. No two days are ever exactly the same.
I wholeheartedly believe working in the service industry should be a requirement for all people. Before getting your driver’s license, or graduating college, it should be a milestone – spend one year at minimum serving random strangers in some capacity.
Having left my logistics office job back in Georgia nearly two years ago, I find myself now managing a Cafe & Wine Bar in Branson, Missouri. And, if you’ve ever been here, you’ll agree with the sentiment that it is an odd place. That’s another story for another time, however.
Branson’s nuances and quirks aside, I have spent these two years working in the service industry. From being a barista at Starbucks to a sales associate at Fossil, from a server at a downtown restaurant to this position, my waking hours have revolved around how I can serve other people.
How can I make your dining experience, your shopping trip, or your stay here more enjoyable? What can I do to help you, serve you, or essentially bend over backwards to accommodate you?
These questions are daily a part of my life. They float around my brain while I walk down the street – I constantly am analyzing situations, mentally calculating beer costs, and buying groceries. While the rain comes down at night, I’m awake in my bed wondering if our guests are sleeping soundly.
Truly, I am made for this. A wooer by design and study, I am a 10 out of 10 on any extrovert scale you can throw at me. I thrive on being around others, I enjoy the energy, banter, and company. My mind is consistently the home of names, faces, small-world connections, and lists.
I take pride in doing hospitality well; it’s a life skill I appreciate greatly and am thankful to have picked up from my mom. I relish in going above and beyond the call of duty, and doing what I can to ensure people are well taken care of, listened to, and heard.
Of course, it can wear on you. Not every customer cares, and not every day is easy. Some days, we lose our faith in humanity to be kind, and go home with the words of disgruntled people weighing on our shoulders.
So, when a guest arrived one morning with a present for me from the local bakery, I became a giddy child. I cannot tell you how absolutely spectacular it was to be handed a cinnamon roll that Tuesday morning.
Perhaps it doesn’t seem like much. A small gesture of kindness from a stranger. A delicious, gooey treat. A few dollars worth of their money.
But to me, in that moment, it was pure bliss.
These are the moments when I remember giving is fun. Whether it be my time, my smile, my energy, my money, or my kindness, moments like these are when I am reminded there is a joy which comes from the art of giving.
These are the moments when I remember that the effort is worth the while. When the days get long, and the customers get rude, when the rain ruins our plans and the appliances ruin themselves, these are the moments that get us through.
Moments of connection. Moments of simple gestures. Moments of love.
This is what we’re meant for.
So today, I am resolving to pass the moment along. I will find a way, because I know there always is one. My hope is to impact another the way this wonderful woman impacted me, and impart some joy.