The Waiter Test

Photo by Michael C on Unsplash

In a devotion in Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions by Diane Eble, Diane says one way to reveal a person’s heart is to apply the waiter test.

Look at how a person treats a waiter. If a waiter spills water on him, how does he react? Does he kindly say, “It’s okay, the water will dry,” or does he make a big scene?

One of my first jobs was a waitress, so I am familiar with being on the receiving end of seeing a bit into people’s hearts through the waiter test. Who would think, however, that while Pilot and I celebrated a special dinner out, I would have an opportunity to experience the waiter test from the customer’s side of the table?

It was apparent the waitress was new and inexperienced even before she poured my glass of iced water, then knocked it over into my lap.

In startled surprise at just how very cold that full glass of water was as it hit my lap, I yelped something like “Oh! That’s cold!”

The people at the table next to us saw the whole thing. They continued to stare as the poor flustered girl tried to mop the water from my lap. I felt so badly for her. True she’s the one who spilled the water, but that doesn’t mean it was intentional.

Like suggested in the devotion, I honestly did tell the waitress, “It’s okay. Really. My dress will dry. It’s cotton. Don’t worry about it. But, I would like another napkin or two.” as I flapped the skirt of my dress back and forth in an attempt to dry it. Honestly, I have no idea why I mentioned the dress was cotton. Maybe to show water really wouldn’t hurt it?

I didn’t need to think twice about how to respond to the situation. It wasn’t like I acted one way because people at the next table were looking, and would act another if they weren’t. I’m just really glad what spilled wasn’t something hot.

Applying the waiter test is a good idea, but might I suggest we apply it to more people than only waiters? The way we treat each person matters.

How about a sales clerk test? Drive through order taker test? Receptionist test? Bus driver test? Co-worker test? Hotel maid test? Person on the cell phone not paying attention to where they are going test? Family member test?

What are your experiences with the waiter test?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Heart Reflection

Recently, I read a devotion by Diane Eble, author of Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions.

In the devotion, she quoted Proverbs 27:19.

“As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.”

In wondering what reveals the heart, Diane Eble suggested applying the “waiter test”.

Look at how a person treats a waiter. If a waiter spills water on him, how does he react? Does he kindly say, “It’s okay, the water will dry,” or does he make a big scene?

In my younger years, I was a waitress at a Shoney’s Big Boy Restaurant. Very tough job, especially when you hadn’t quite mastered the finer points of dealing with difficult people. (Still learning.)

Like, for instance, the regular “Suit” who sat alone at the same table every day – a table designed to serve eight.

Ordered the same thing:  Two eggs – over easy. Bacon – done, but not too crispy. Dark toast – no butter. Coffee – two creams.

And never once looked up from his newspaper while doing so. Forget him acknowledging your presence, before he spouted off his order.

Yes. I  have forgotten many things, but I STILL remember this guy.

After one too many busy mornings, and what I considered his improper behavior, I slid his plate of eggs, bacon, and toast under his newspaper, and said, “You’re welcome. I’m not your wife, you know.”

So…maybe that was a little rude on my part, but it got his attention. From then on, he left his newspaper on the table, until after he ordered, and remembered to say, “Thank you.”

So, turn the tables…Pilot and I are celebrating a special dinner out, and the obviously-new-waitress poured my glass of iced water, then knocked it over into my lap.

I believe I yelped out my startled surprise with something like, “Oh! That’s cold!”

The people at the table next to us had seen the whole thing, and continued to stare, as the poor, flustered, girl tried to mop the water from my lap.

Like suggested above, I honestly did tell her, “It’s okay. Really. My dress will dry. It’s cotton. Don’t worry about it. But, I would like another napkin, or two.” as I flapped the skirt of my dress back and forth, in an attempt to dry it.

I didn’t need to think twice about how to respond to the situation. It wasn’t like I acted one way because people were looking, and would have acted another if they weren’t.

Might I suggest we apply more than just a waiter test to our responses, that reveal our heart?

How about sales clerk test? Receptionist test? Bus driver test? Co-worker test? Hotel maid test? Person on the cell phone not paying attention to where they are going test?

How’s your heart reflection doing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

A song my dad used to sing was Keep on the Sunny Side, by the blind musician, Doc Watson. It’s a decision we can make. Or not. Hope you enjoy the song as much as I do.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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