I used to travel around the U.S. for a couple of years as a server trainer helping to open up our new locations of the restaurant. As with anything, there is always something more meaningful and deeper that I choose to do with every experience. I saw this traveling to different cities as an amazing way to meet new people and to spread some love and positivity even while talking about how many minutes you have to greet a new customer. I have always loved meeting new people and I have always loved getting to know them. This was no different. This one particular city, however, I wasn’t actually thrilled about. I was excited about being away from home and meeting the new staff, but the actual city itself, wasn’t too thrilling.
This ended up being one of my favorite experiences.
I know that the first day of any new job for anyone is nerve wracking as well as stressful so I have always made it my priority to put everyone at ease from the moment they walk through those doors. I want them to know that they are in a safe place, that I am on their side and that this will be fun! I greet everyone with a huge smile and I make it my business to get to know everyone. I believe we all just want to be seen, whether it’s in a job, relationship, or just walking down the street. I make sure everyone knows that they are important and valued. I never realized how important this truly was until this particular city.
The Light Within The Tunnel
On the last day of being there, one of the servers asked if he could speak to me outside. I had just finished saying my goodbyes to most of the staff, so I just figured that this guy was a bit more private about his goodbyes. He said something that has forever changed my perspective on just how important the “small” things are. He told me he wanted to thank me for literally saving his life. He said that a few days before training started, he found his best friend had hung himself. He went on to say that he wasn’t sure how he was going to get through his own life, let alone a new job. He said he didn’t know how or why he even showed up for that first day, but had planned on taking his own life that week. He went on to tell me that on the first day of training, he went in and the first person he saw was me and the smile that I greeted him with went straight to his core. He couldn’t explain why that was, but he said he decided right then to show up every day from there on out to see that same smile. He said the way I looked at him and saw him and the things I said during training kept him going and before he knew it, he was healing. I literally stood there stunned with tears streaming down my face and just hugged him.
The Power Of The Small Things
It was right then, that I knew what I always knew. The small things, the things we take for granted, a smile, a door being held open for someone, a hello, a “how are you?”, all of these things can literally change a person’s life. We never know what someone is going through and we never know what something so simple on our end can be so life saving on theirs.
I haven’t forgotten Christian and I haven’t forgotten to stop smiling. I really hope you all realize how much beauty and love you carry within you and always be conscious of sharing that gift with others. You’ll come to find that that is your true purpose here.