In 2012/13, when I lived in London, I was transferred from a coffee shop at Waterloo Station to a bar & restaurant on the South Bank. I worked there as a Section Leader for a while and then I was promoted to Team Leader, woohoo!
One night I was on shift when two older couples came to have a meal with us. They claimed to have a booking, which didn't exist. It was 7pm in one of the busiest parts of London and we found it really difficult to seat them. Eventually a table freed up, they sat down and started to look through the menu; but their dinner had not gotten off to a good start and they were a little grumpy. After a few minutes I went over to take their order, one of the gents was not happy and said to me that he would like to see the vegan options for his wife. I explained that we didn't have any vegan options on the menu, but the goat’s cheese salad could be changed by the chef to suit her needs and that it was a very nice option even without the cheese. I got an ear full from the gent and I reacted by becoming patronising and a little sarcastic, eventually they got up and left without paying for their drinks.
It was a very awkward situation, I didn’t feel bad that I couldn’t help; instead I was angry at the way they behaved in the situation. So many thoughts flew through my mind at the time, the biggest one was, ‘Why make your problem my problem?’ I vented my anger later with some friends over a cigarette, recounting the story made them laugh; my opinions came out in a flurry of swearing and pulse raising sentences. Being the large 22 stone pizza/ meat guzzler that I was, I thought, “Why don’t they read the menu and just ask for a reasonable change instead of expecting the world.”
Looking back now I feel quite embarrassed about my behaviour. Especially since I am now a vegan and have had a very powerful journey with food and exercise to this point in my life.
I learned two things from that experience:
I think the big lesson for me was realising that it is important not jump to any conclusions about things if you have never really tried to understand them. Sure everyone has heard the saying, 'don't judge a book by it's cover'. but it is only a saying until you have a moment that defines it.
Whether it is a diet, a particular kind of workout or even a person that you don’t know yet, you have to understand it/them before you can form your judgement. Time and experience can change you for better or worse and it is important to remember that we might view something/ someone as trivial or frustrating today but it/ they could in fact be the most valuable thing to us tomorrow.
I should have had much more respect, understanding and tolerance for the people at that table. After all, respect, understanding and tolerance will get us much closer to a happier world than unfounded opinion and anger.
I hope my ramblings have kept you entertained today be sure to have an awesome day! If you found this helpful or nice to read then please share it or drop a comment below with your thoughts.... And don't forget to Stay strong and keep moving!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.