A Special Delivery: An Example of Real Service

By Greg Baer M.D.

March 19, 2018

Every year for my birthday, Donna takes me out for a lunch of Indian food. We go to Atlanta, because we don’t have an Indian restaurant in our small town. On our last trip, as we sat down to eat, the waitress asked what we’d like to drink. I ordered a Diet Coke—the all-natural variety, of course—and she walked off to draw it from the fountain of multiple sodas available at the restaurant.

As we were eating our meal, she finally brought the drink to the table, after an unusually long time in our experience with that place. We noticed that at the serving station, there was a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke, so I asked the waitress about it, having some suspicions about how it got there.

Reluctantly, she explained that their fountain of sodas was out of Diet Coke, so they had gone to the grocery store across the busy highway to get a bottle. I was touched.

When she had discovered that their fountain was out, she didn’t tell me that she couldn’t serve me the drink I had ordered. She didn’t tell me how much trouble it would be to go across the highway to get the bottle. She just got in her car and got what I asked for.

If I hadn’t asked about the bottle I saw, I’m sure she would never have told me the story at all. I felt like this woman—whom I had never met—actually cared about me, and I felt closer to her. Her service certainly added to our experience and to my special day.

I wonder how we would all feel about ourselves and about others if we served each other in this way. What if we looked for ways we could serve, and we did everything we could, without complaining or seeking acknowledgment.

This humble woman taught me a lesson in real service that I hope I remember.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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