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Above and beyond Service

By Mary Robinson Reynolds

As you may know by now, my husband, Craig, and I travel around with 3 "I Make A Difference" wristbands on our arms. The first day of summer, we were out on our motorcycles enjoying an absolutely beautiful day here in New England, when we stopped at Wendy's for a late afternoon protein fix.

As we walked in, the server greeted us from the center of the room, as she was cleaning off tables and said, "I'll be with you right away to take your order." I thought to myself, "Now that is really, really nice that she has acknowledged us and has stated her intention to serve us."

Very often, servers have difficulty with my order, because I don't want all of the additional condiments added. For some reason, saying "ketchup only" goofs everybody up, because fast food companies have a system in how they categorize things on their cash register. The conversation generally goes like this:

"I want a hamburger with ketchup only."
"You want that with ketchup and cheese."
"No, ketchup only."
"Just ketchup, no cheese."
"That's correct. Just ketchup."

She struggled too, but very calmly - with great patience - repeated everything back to me and re-entered the order "with ketchup only." Then she went above and beyond, walking over to the trainee preparing the sandwich and repeating the instructions. Craig and I looked at each other with a smile, relief and appreciation that she got it entered correctly without being crabby at us and then followed through to make sure it was done correctly.

As we were eating, she came back out to the main room and chatted with some of the customers as she did her work. She came by our table twice, asking if she could get us some more ketchup, napkins, refills. WOWZA what service - what a difference that makes when you are traveling around.

It was Craig this time who popped up and walked over to her and acknowledged her for her service and how much of a difference she was making, from the moment she gracefully handled his wife's "ketchup only" order to all of the additional service she'd offered while we were eating. He asked her if she would accept our "I Make A Difference" wristband as a gift of our appreciation for the difference she made today in our travels?

She was SO SURPRISED ... she accepted the wristband beaming, and you could see her entire physiology change up a notch or two. Then he handed her the additional 2 "I Make A Difference" wristbands and explained that the idea behind acknowledging each other was to pay it forward to anyone who makes a difference in her life.

The unexpected gift in all of this was that, even as we were leaving, she was trying to give us additional service...

Lesson: A smidgen of acknowledgment inspires even MORE service. Who do you know that you could acknowledge today?

Have a Family Vacation coming? Invest in 25 - 50 "I Make A Difference" Wristbands to take along with you as you travel and make it a family affair to Acknowledge people who are making a difference in your vacation!

I'm headed to Dublin, Ireland in a few weeks, and I'll be traveling with a carry-on full of them!

It's the ordinary acts of giving that create extraordinary experiences in life.

Reaching out to make a difference ...


Mary Robinson Reynolds
Author & Founder of Heart Productions & Publishing