Friday, January 29, 2010

An Exercise in Patience

I got to daily Mass today for the first time since my surgery. I'm moving slowly (as I told a friend the other day, I'm definitely the "tortoise" rather than the "hare" these days) but I get there.

After church I was hungry and really wanted some Chick-Fil-A breakfast. So I headed over there and ordered my Chicken Minis and a sweet tea in the drive-through. In no time at all, I thought, I'd be home munching on chicken.

But the car ahead of me took a long time. I felt kind of impatient until I started paying attention to the occupant of that car. It was an older woman with a handicapped tag dangling from her rear-view mirror and a "Conquer Cancer" license plate. A store employee repeatedly poked her head out of the drive-through window to speak with the customer, offered her a daily newspaper, and generally spent some extra time making sure everything was taken care of. The whole time, she had a smile on her face.

Needless to say, once I'd observed a little bit about who was ahead of me, I was ashamed of my own impatience.

When it was my turn, a different employee handed me my food and apologized for the long wait. "It was not a problem," I told her.

I'm impressed with the level of service that was provided to the woman ahead of me in line. I'm not surprised, because this is Chick-Fil-A, and that restaurant never fails to exceed expectations in terms of service, cleanliness, and food quality. The employees are unfailingly helpful and polite.

Today I will take the time to contact the Chick-Fil-A manager and compliment his employees. And I will take the time to pray for the woman ahead of me in that drive-through line. You never know what someone else's needs and cares truly are; you never know their circumstances; and sometimes you are kept waiting for a very good reason.


Aimee said...

Amen to that, Barb. I've had a similar experience at a drive-thru, and I was saddened by how accustomed I had become to having what I wanted almost immediately. It's very good for me to wait.

And I agree about Chick-Fil-A! I love that place!

Ellen said...

I can totally understand - patience is hard. But we need to practice it because one day, we'll be the ones holding up the line and we hope that those behind us will be patient too.