Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why be offended?

Yesterday, I was at a well known fast food establishment that I live near. The kids and I were having a playdate. I went to order the food, and the cashier asked me a question. She was a different nationality than myself, and she was mumbling, so I did not understand her. She asked me again. I still did not understand. Oops. Shame on me. The third time, she proceeded to yell the question at me with anger and what appeared to be rage on her face. I gave her an answer. She looked at her manager for approval. I turned bright red, said thank you, have a nice day, and walked away with my order. I was embarrassed for both of us. I did not misunderstand her on purpose. I was not trying to devalue her, but I think she must have felt that way, and I felt devalued as well for the yelling I received.

Then, today, I went through the drive-thru of same said establishment. (I know horrible crime to go to a fast food place 2 days in a row - don't even think about that part of the story.) Oops. Shame on me. I forgot to order my drink at the ordering window. I asked at the payment window if it was too late to order. If it was, I would happily go home without a drink. The cashier rolled her eyes with disgust, and let me order.

So I was thinking about all of this bad customer service and how horribly I was treated. I could stand up and say, "This is an injustice. Your workers have not treated me with respect." Why do so many of us feel that all injustices have to be fought?

Normally, I would not say such a thing. You see I grew up in a home with a dad who believed he should always be respected and treated very well, and even now, as I write, I do not wish to dishonor him as my parent. But these things are true statements that were well known facts about my dad. If we were poorly treated in a restaurant, we would have to get up in the middle of the meal, tell the owners we should not have to pay for such a crime, and everyone would know that he had poor service and he would act like a horses's behind so that everyone knew his injustice. So I grew up wanting to be totally opposite of this. I did not care if everyone and their brother ran over me, I would NOT treat someone like that.

So, I am not natually inclined to want my rights to be fulfilled in a situation such as that. As I was thinking, this came to mind: I have no idea if the ladies at that particular restaurant know anything about God at all. I do. I have the responsibility to show them proper respect. They have no responsibility to show me respect at all. So I shouldn't call the manager or stop going to the restaurant. I know these same ladies work there every day. Maybe I could do something totally opposite - like an unexpected kindness. Perhaps I could get to know their names, and build a relationship with them somehow by the extra courtesies that one does not usually do. So that is what I want to do. I'm not sure what unexpected kindness to do yet, but I want to be proactive in my thoughts and attitudes toward them.

I guess I should adopt a similar attitude to those who have offended me time and time again too. What do you think? Please leave a comment. I would love to know your thoughts!


  1. I have to say, my first thought was, "well I'm just not going back there again", but now you have me thinking about how you might be able to turn around others' negative attitudes.

    also, I definitely think you should definitely adopt a similar attitude to those that have hurt you again and again, and again, and again..and so on.

  2. Good stuff. Tough stuff. I have been thinking about the verse in Romans 2 that talks about "not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (And, in context, the verses are also good). Good for you for treating her with kindness - not always easy for me to do.

    On another note - you asked on my blog about prison ministry (sorry it has taken me so long to respond!) I think the best/easiest way is to find a group that is already ministering in a prison and go in with them. You would need to "get on the list" in order to go in. Also, volunteers are required to do training once a year.
    If you are interested and need more info or help finding a group, please let me know. I can try to help.

  3. This reminds me of something I read in Tenth Avenue North's blog last night. Here's the url: Tenth Avenue North is a fairly new Christian band that I've been listening to lately. I really love the depth of their lyrics and how honest they are.


I love to receive your thoughts. I am blessed and encouraged by them. May God bless your day today!


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