I work in my church’s cafe three days a week now. Technically it’s a volunteer position but it’s definitely work none the less. I get to keep my tips but it’s nowhere near the income I’m accustomed to. It’s okay though because one dollar is better than no dollar. It’s also different work than I’m used too but I’m learning the ropes and actually enjoying it.
We get all types of patrons in the cafe. Last week the mayor walked in. I had the opportunity to meet him and serve him and his wife. As if that wasn’t cool enough, his wife knew who I was. As I was refilling her drink she says, “Aren’t you an engineer?” “Yes,” I replied. “Don’t you work for _________ company?” she says. “I used too,” I replied hesitantly. This seemed pretty odd to me. Why would she ask me this unless she knew me from somewhere? So I simply asked, “Do you know me?” Turns out she did. She works at a school that I spoke at months ago. A local technical high school had a luncheon for girls and invited women in technical careers as special guest. I was one of those guests. At that luncheon I briefly shared my story and gave the girls some advice. She remembered me. I immediately felt the need to explain why I was working as a server in this cafe. I didn’t want her to think I got fired or anything bad like that. After all I was supposed to be a role model for those girls. I told her that I left because I felt that’s what God was leading me to do. She understood and said that when you hear that call you gotta go. I’m so glad she understood.
That same day a server from a restaurant I applied to came into the cafe and sat in my section. I chatted with him for a bit because I recognized him. He waited on a group of friends and me when we went to dinner for a friend’s birthday. He was friendly and made the dining experience a pleasant one. I wanted to let him know that I appreciated his service and wanted to return the favor. It took me a while to realize it but the guy that he was with was the manager that I spoke to when I applied. I never heard back from him. I was embarrassed by this and hoped that he didn’t recognize me. In hindsight I should have talked to him too. Maybe he would see my work ethic in the cafe and reconsider.
The very next day I had the pleasure of waiting on my pastor and a few special guests. Initially I felt like an idiot because I didn’t recognize the guest by name. (Apparently he’s well-known in the Christian arena). To make it worse I asked him who he was when I was asked to lead him and his wife to their seats. Thankfully he didn’t get offended or anything and service went well.
I learned two important lessons last week:
- God is doing things behind the scenes and we don’t see the whole picture. On the surface it seems ridiculous for me to be busing tables in a cafe when I have a college degree, but I believe that’s where God wants me (at least for now). It may seem completely off track but just like I never know who will walk into the cafe, you never know what experiences and opportunities God has for you right around the corner. These opportunities can walk through the doors of your life any day at any moment. When you’re in it for the long haul and fully committed suddenlys can happen suddenly.
- Always be on your Ps and Qs. The mayor’s wife recognizing me was a bit of a wake-up call. How many other people have seen me in the cafe or around town and just didn’t say anything? It’s important to ALWAYS display excellent character because people are watching. You may not know them but they know you. Most importantly, God is watching. Whatever your job is, work as if you are working for Him, because you are.