Yesterday while I was doing some work at the local Cordele Chick-fil-A, which is the only place with a strong enough WiFi to really get work done, Mallory, one of the floor hosts (not sure of their actual term for the position), came up and simply asked how my day was. She asked how I was doing and if there was anything she could do for me. She must have walked by 100 times, but my insane “work face,” the face I make while focusing intently and is likely a mashup of extreme frustration and a slightly confused look, probably kept her from saying anything before then.
When she finally caught my eye as I was looking around the room (pro tip 1: which is always the perfect time to stop and talk to someone eating at your establishment), she came up with a massive smile and heart-warming southern welcome. She asked me where I was from, what brought me there, what I did for a living, and then was off again clearing tables, opening the door, refilling drinks, but most importantly, LIGHTING UP THE ENTIRE ROOM!
As she continued to make her rounds, talking with everyone she knew and having unique conversations with each, I began to get a sense that she had a story to tell. After our third or fourth interaction, I found out that she makes several trips to Atlanta every year for therapy. See, when she was a child, someone ran a stop sign/red light and t-boned the car she was in on her side, causing a traumatic brain injury. And her very next sentence was “But I’ll be just fine because God has a plan for me. All the glory be to him for me even being here.” Little did she know that she’d already touched at LEAST one person that day with God’s love.
As we continued our mini convos, we talked about her favorite restaurants and places to visit in Atlanta (I told her to come visit!). She loves Maggiano’s. This also happens to be one of Amanda’s favorite places. Pro Tip 2: take 4 people to Maggiano’s and you can order family style. Order the Riggy D and Mom’s lasagne.
As I started to finish my work and grab a bite for lunch, I really started to keen in on her and the impact she had in the restaurant. She was moving like she was on ice skates. Talking to every single customer. Engaging very personally with each and every one. She is the energy and passion that ANY RESTAURANT (or business) owner/manager/employee/customer wants to be around. Her near CONSTANT movement and unending customer engagement was impressive to say the least.
The more I reflected on our short convos, I couldn’t help but feel a huge wave of positivity, compassion, and love. We’re all dealt terrible hands sometimes, some obviously worse than others. How we chose to handle that and how we treat others makes all the difference in the world. You never know what others are dealing with, so let’s all love a little more. In the end, we’re all God’s chickens.