September 27, 2015

In the year 2000, while in high school, nearly half my life ago, I scooped ice cream at a drug store in Clarksdale, Mississippi. I suppose you could consider that my first job in the service industry. Banana splits were a serious pain to make. Milk shakes weren't much better. I preferred customers who ordered in simple terms: "blue" for blue vanilla, "red" for strawberry, "Rocky Road" for Rocky Road. Simple.

Now, this edition of Weejy's World is going to be geared towards folks in the service industry. It's a little piece of wisdom that was passed down to me 15 years ago, only to resurface now, nearly half a lifetime down the road of life...Rocky as it may be sometimes (Boom! Ice cream reference 1 complete). I should mention that I feel like that in working in the service industry you pick up on all sorts of life lessons that can be applied to everyday situations, so I suppose this piece is really geared towards everyone who is reading it. Please pass it along. It will make the world a better place.

Anyway, I remember only a few things from high school, specifically the year 2000. One of those things is obvious--the huge scare of Y2K when all electronics were supposed to shut down at the turn of the new millennium, sending the world back into the Stone Age. Prince, however, eased all Y2K tensions by performing "1999" in New York City to ring in the new year. In the end, all turned out to be fine and dandy. Electronics kept on ticking. Disaster averted. Thanks, Prince.

The other thing I remember from that year is this simple word of advice from my uncle: I imagine I probably was complaining that someone had ordered a banana split or something while I was working because I was in high school, and that's what you do when you're in high school, you complain about ridiculous things (High-Schoolers zinged). Anyway, "Always remember," my uncle said, "That you never know what kind of a day a person who walks into the drug store has had. You don't know what they've gone through today. Always treat them nice." I know that might not be exactly what he said, but that's the gist of it. And, it might sound simple, but it's always something that has stuck with me. It should be applied at all times, not only to people in the service industry, but in everyday life as well... Driving, perhaps especially.

Service folks: always remember that someone walking into your restaurant or bar or hotel or whatever might've, quite literally, just had the worst day of their lives. They might have received the worst news they've ever received. They might be angry or sad about something that folks like us have never experienced before. The bottom line is that you never know. It is our responsibility to treat them kindly and with respect. Something as simple as a smile or a "hello" can go a long way. For everyone not in the service industry: remember the same advice. Even when walking into a restaurant, for example, you never know what kind of day your server has had. In every situation everywhere, the people around you might need to be lifted up. It's everyone's responsibility to help out wherever and whenever it's possible.

I think that's all. I'm getting off my soapbox till next month. In next month's episode, last month's Weejy's World will continue with an exciting tale about yours truly starting a new job at Hey Joe's in Cleveland, Mississippi.