Published Sept. 18, 2012

Shelia Shares....
"What Kind of Witness?"

One of the best things about our hotel during the National Quartet Convention is a tasty, complimentary breakfast each morning. Tuesday morning as I went into the food service area, I saw a young woman checking to be sure all the food trays were warm and full.

I spoke to her, complimenting her on the good breakfast each day and commenting that she didn't have an easy job working around people.

Keisha replied, "This is a pretty easy crowd. They aren't wild like some groups." I was proud of the NQC crowd and their witness by their actions.

Later that morning, I went back to get a muffin, only to hear a hotel guest berating her for something. The guest was loud and derogatory and finished the conversation with, "I work in customer service and the guest is always right." When Keisha went back to get more food, the guest continued to tell everyone that she "paid $159 per night and deserved better treatment than this."

I was glad I didn't turn around to see which lady was talking, since I was upset enough that I could have lost my witness with her. I sat at my table and finished my muffin.

Before I returned to my hotel room, I refilled my juice glass and saw Keisha putting out more food. She looked upset. I walked over, leaned in close and said, "Don't let one person ruin your whole day." She smiled and said, "Thank you."

I turned to leave, stopped and returned to Keisha. "I've worked in customer service for many years. The customer is not always right."

Her response was immediate and accompanied by a big smile. "I needed to hear that. Thank you." Keisha hesitated a moment and then said, "I need a hug. Can I have a hug?"

I gave my new friend a big hug. She headed back for more food with a smile n her face. I headed for my hotel room knowing God had used me to encourage Keisha and to be a witness for Him.

As for the irrate guest, she did deserve good service. But, could she have gotten it without berating the server, who was actually doing a good job? Could she have asked for service in a positive way? Could she have explained a problem quietly without destroying anyone's character? Was it necessary to loudly destroy someone's character? Was it worth losing her Christian witness for the sake of her own pride and comfort?

Sometimes we all speak in haste. May we be mindful of the people around us and our witness for Jesus to them.

- Shelia

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