She'll Take Them Up On A Tray
Marcia McGreevy Lewis
Copyright 2023 byMarcia McGreevy Lewis
Photo property of the author..
July 14, 2021, the NY Times ran an article, Restaurant
Shuts Down for a ‘Day of Kindness’ After Customers Make
Its Staff Cry.”
friend sent me this article which says: The verbal abuse from rude
customers got so bad, the owners of a restaurant on Cape Cod closed
for part of the day to treat its employees to a “day of
kindness.” Ramping up from zero to 60 post-pandemic, the
restaurant wasn’t able to take a breakfast order because it
wasn’t open yet. An indignant customer berated an employee,
making her cry. That led the restaurant owners to shut down. The
local restaurant association expressed its solidarity with the
shuttered restaurant by starting a “Please
Be Kind” campaign.
customers who need patience with the people preparing and serving
their meals are merely one example of the attitude adjustments we
have to make as our economy adjusts to the demand for workers who are
slowly returning to the workforce. Manpower is in short supply to
stock our grocery shelves, repair our cars and staff our libraries.
The importance of treating service workers and others with kindness
and patience, especially in the face of increased demand for their
services as the economy adjusts, can’t be overstated.
handle this new reality, kindness is the key. One
person may not be able to influence the national political scene or
ebb the tide of climate change, but that person can make love
visible. She can let the person in front of her in the grocery line
with a few items go first, tip harried servers, let in the car
signaling to get into her lane and show less judgment. If not finding
kindness, he can be kind.
few years ago I was the recipient of touching kindness. My husband
and I were about to sell our house and move to a condo when my friend
Romney offered to stage our house. We accepted gratefully, thinking
she’d prod us to toss some outdated furniture. My husband had
previously antiqued chests in burnt orange with gold accents and
chairs in olive green. Those items went to Goodwill, as they should
have gone long ago. Then Romney sent furniture that had cluttered the
rooms to the garage. Much of that furniture ended up at Goodwill as
well. It took her distanced eye to get us to see its lack of appeal.
Romney arrived with decorative items: ceramic Italianate soap
dispensers, fuchsia towels to enliven a boring beige bathroom and
robin’s egg blue drapes that gave the living room new life. The
house perked up immensely and sold quickly.
we moved into our condo, Romney was the first to arrive with fistsful
of bright red, orange and yellow congratulatory flowers that made our
new house begin to feel like home. In the ensuing years, she has
brought me items she uncovered while shopping like the yellow and
blue porcelain bowl that now adorns my living room. When cleaning out
her mother’s house after her death, Romney loaded my arms with
red and green Christmas candles, a delicately-painted teapot and a
Blue Onion-patterned vase that perches on my living room shelf. She
expected no reimbursement again, but does “small
things with great love,”
as Mother Teresa did.
not like Romney has nothing else to do. This highly attractive,
mid-sixties woman with a warm smile that lights up her luminous skin
and alert eyes is completely booked. She is as beautiful inside as
she is on the outside as she shares her warmth and wisdom. Romney
engages with an active family, manages several properties, plays a
mean game of tennis, contributes to a blog, gets the plays she writes
produced nationwide and has published three books. She also initiated
annual get-togethers for several of the groups to which she and I
belong. Hoots of laughter ring in the hallways when she hosts white
husband and mine were best friends until my husband died recently.
She supported me as I maneuvered through the shock of his death and
reintegrated into life. She has included me in gatherings and
vacations and always has a good book suggestion or recipe to impart.
disappeared during the pandemic and is only now emerging with
caution. The other day she mentioned to me the article referenced
above. It’s natural that she would share an article on
kindness. That article led me right back to her. Now that she has
reemerged, the world is a better place as she spreads her kindness.
Goldblatt, author of Becoming
and someone Romney has followed, sent this recent Twitter feed: “You
may leave your likes and kindnesses and hugs and kisses here. I’ll
have them brought up on a tray.” Give them to Romney. She’ll
take them up.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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