Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Pleasure

Going to Chik-fil-a is strikingly dissimilar from going to almost any other fast food restaurant. From the moment you arrive at the counter / drive-up speaker-thingamajig, you're greeted with such a refreshingly genuine desire to serve that it's almost foreign. It can be startling the first time you experience it. One doubts the sincerity of such service, and service it is. Actually, service is in the very fabric of the phrasing, which makes Chik-fil-a so unique.

When you pull up at almost any other fast-food establishment, you're greeted with a canned, "Welcome to ____________. Would you like to try a (insert seasonal item, here)?", as if you don't have an idea of what you want to order already, or you haven't spent some time perusing the menu board. The first thing they're trying to do is sell you something. It doesn't matter what you want. It's what corporate wants them to push. And honestly, they're not even really trying. It's just what they're supposed to say.

When you're greeted at Chik-fil-a, the employee says "Welcome to Chik-fil-a. How can I serve you today?" Now, I know that this is also what the employee is "supposed" to say, because it's said the same way every time, but do you know what the difference is? I truly believe the employee at Chik-fil-a genuinely wants to serve me. When you make a request, or express gratitude at Chik-fil-a, they say "My pleasure", and I believe they are pleased to do it.

Service, pleasure, gratitude. These things are in the very DNA of Chik-fil-a. It's a part of their culture, and I think it's a culture that the employees have bought into.

I understand a thing or two about service. Having worked as a server for two different restaurant chains, and a service tech at the nation's largest quick-lube franchise, I have experienced many of the ups and downs that come with working in the service industry. Whenever someone I greet or serve thanks me for something, I usually respond with "my pleasure" or "I'm glad to do it."

Is this true?

Am I glad to wash the insides of your windows, when our service specifically states that we wash "exterior" windows? When, after setting their tires to the manufacturers recommended tire pressure, a customer asks me to set them to something different, causing me to fall behind in the middle of a rush, am I glad to be of service?

And if I'm not, I'm in the wrong, and I regret my attitude later.

You know why?

Because that's my job, and I'm grateful to have one.

Whether I'm changing the tire pressure for the second time, or moving on to the next vehicle, I'm doing my job. It's what I get paid for. It's what I was hired for, and it's my pleasure to do it.

More importantly for me, as a Christian, I believe that God is my ultimate provider. He provided me with a job, the body and brain to do it, and the money it pays me. I see Him as my true boss. Doing my job well reflects on Him. In Colossians 3, Paul admonishes his readers to "work at [your job] with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

True, sometimes the encouragement from the book of James feels more appropriate, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

However, at the end of the day, it's the Lord I work for. It's the Lord who's given me my job, and to work for the Lord, no matter what it is that my hand finds to do, nor how bad or tiresome the work may be, is my pleasure.

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