18 Mar Beyond Expectation
I did know that my tire was low. I just never have the time or the motivation to get out of my car in the rain and get down on my hands and knees to put air in it. I also never have enough quarters. When I do, I get too pissed at the fact that I am paying for air and refuse to out of some weird principle. So when my gas station attendant pointed out to me that my tire had virtually no air in it I pretty much just grumbled that this was not new information to me. What was new to me was the fact that despite being insanely
busy he told me ‘he would take care of it’. Huh? ‘I don’t have any quarters.’ He just motioned for me to pull into a certain parking spot. I was still hesitant. I was short on time. Would he be expecting a tip? I slowly pulled up to where he had motioned not really sure if that was the right spot. When I looked back over my shoulder to where he
was still pumping someone else’s gas he gave me a quick thumbs up and signaled to let me know he would be right there. Sure enough he ran right over, guided me to get a little closer to the air pump and got right down to business. We had some quick chit chat about what might be wrong with the tire and when I thanked him he said ‘of course’ and was off to help the next customer.
Funny thing, I had already made the decision to stop for gas at that particular station because this very same attendant had made an impression on me another time. It was a holiday and it was snowing like crazy out. It was starting to get dark and there were barely any cars out and he still greeted and conversed with me with so much genuine enthusiasm that it really made an impression. So, now even if I’m running late or am passing by the dozens of other stations I will always make an effort to stop at this one.
I doubt that he was making a conscious decision to try to drum up business or create a repeat clientele, but just by an unsolicited simple act of service this is what he has done. It saddens me that this simple ‘of course’ attitude is so rare that I felt like I had to question his motives, but it was such a great reminder of just how powerful simple acts of selflessness can be. Although we all expect a lot from those ‘serving’ us, we all expect to have to pay it back in some way. I am so grateful to be able to say with confidence that I work with a team of people that create that same bit of surprise for
others that I had when my new favorite gas station attendant offered his help…a group of people that does not hesitate to serve others beyond just the expectation of their job. I get to see it on a daily basis and have come to realize that this is the norm and not an exception. I hope our clients come to realize that as well, but in the meantime I will just enjoy their looks of surprise and slight skepticism and continue to answer their ‘really?’ with ‘of course’.
Spa Director, The Dragontree PDX