The Surly Waitress Didn’t Expect This

not happy

The surly waitress

It was clear she was not happy when she took our order. She didn’t smile or even introduce herself. Our questions about the menu were answered through gritted teeth. When she returned with our drinks, she smacked them down on the table. She delivered our appetizers with a terse, “here you go,” and sped away.

As we ate, we mused about our waitress. We could have said any of these things about her:

  • She sucks as a waitress.
  • What a bitch!
  • What is her problem?

We could have decided to give her a taste of her medicine, and be mean or rude right back. We could have left a crappy tip or complained to the manager about her.

But we made a different choice. I said to my husband, “Let’s see if we can make her smile.”

The next time she came to our table, he asked if she was from around here and she said she was from Florida. I spoke up about having lived there, and what followed was a conversation about living in various places.

We connected. She smiled.

Her mood lifted and she visibly brightened.

After she walked away, our mood brightened, too.

What happened at that table was that we stopped looking at her as a waitress and instead showed some genuine interest in her as a person. We reacted with compassion and in doing so became Messengers of Love.

All of us have a choice when faced with someone who is rude or negative to us.Tweet: Wehave a choice when faced with someone who is rude or negative to us. @lizvioletnewell We can “respond in kind” by being rude or angry right back, or we can try to rise above it and lift the other person up too.

It’s all too easy to give it right back to someone, but what would that accomplish? Giving someone “a taste of her own medicine” just doesn’t work. Responding to anger with anger just escalates the situation.

The waitress, for example, would go on to be rude and angry to her next customers with this negative energy rippling out and snowballing. Since what we do and how we react DOES ripple out, let’s send good ripples.Tweet: Since what we do and how we react DOES ripple out, let's send good ripples. @lizvioletnewell

What can you do today to send out some good ripples? Please comment below and share this article with people who may find it helpful, interesting or inspiring. Thank you.

About Liz Violet Newell 31 Articles
Liz Violet Newell has been inspiring, encouraging, advising, and supporting others through various business and volunteer positions since 1999. Her life story of continuous self-improvement serves as the foundation for her writing, and the motivation behind her desire to make a difference through love and kindness. Liz has overcome extreme shyness, childhood bullying, won a lifelong battle with overeating, and survived divorce. She is active in a vibrant and supportive community of empowered women, spiritual practitioners and avid writers.


    • It’s hard sometimes, but love is the only way. If you can reach out with kindness (and no attachment to outcome) it may help. On the other hand, this may be a sign that you deserve better friends.

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