MAY I TAKE YOUR ORDER…MR. JAMES?

I have decided, after wonderful suggestions from friends and family, that shorter in this day and age is better.  I split my first post in two to achieve just that.  The greatest thing about this is, THERE ARE NO RULES!!!  And “adventures” are just that.

One of my staple training lessons as a hospitality leader is about empathy.  I always ask my team to put themselves into the shoes of our guests.   Yes, most of the time, we don’t know what’s going on in those shoes.  So I ask my team to think of the worst possible scenario.  Maybe that guest just lost somebody very near and dear to their heart.  And they’re on their way home after seeing them.  Everyone has to eat.  How would you react if you were in those shoes?  You probably would not be yourself.  I know I was not.

Unfortunately, this lesson of mine was put to a real life test.  In December 2010, my mother, suffered a major heart attack.  She had to have triple bypass surgery.  This was truly the first time something life threatening  had happened to someone so close to me.  I flew to be with my mom when she received her diagnosis and I stayed through the surgery and through the first part of her recovery.  It was a success!  Thank you Doctors and Nursesl!!!  I drove from her house to the hospital every morning and back home every night.  On this one particular evening, I recall stopping at a local restaurant.  I was sitting there in a booth all by myself feeling like a zombie.  I wasn’t eating well, I had not been doing yoga or exercising, sleep was limited, and well, emotionally I wasn’t sure I could handle it.  I remember thinking to myself this is that moment that I use as an example for empathy.  I wondered if my waitress empathised with me.  I wanted her to so badly.  I wanted to tell her what happened to my mom.  I wanted her to know that I was not myself that day.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t even look her in the eyes.  I did not want to be judged.  I was too exhausted in my thoughts and even more so to speak.

I’ve had to use empathy numerous times throughout my career.  And believe it or not, more so with non-celebrities than celebs.  But they too can have bad days or periods of life just like me and you.

 

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