In writing my sixteen truths, my lengthy monolog on serving and being served, I realized that I had a great deal more to say about each truth, but at that time, I wanted to keep it concise.
The feedback was generally positive, so I thought I would expand on each truth a bit further in a series of follow up posts, as time permits. So here is my further thoughts on my first truth.
“1. I love serving people.”
I was speaking about a range of wine-related topics to a couple on Saturday night for several minutes. Experience has taught me to be better aware of my time and surroundings, and I realized I needed to visit my other tables to maintain a proper balance. One of the guests remarked that she understood I had other things to do. I replied, “Are you kidding? This is my favorite part of the job. I wish I could do this all day.”
It’s true. What I truly love most about serving people is sharing with them. Interacting on topics of common interest in a dynamic manner is a tireless endeavor on my part. I love to share what I’ve learned with others, whether it’s knowledge or experience.
For example, when guests ask me for recommendations, I thrill at the opportunity to not only provide the answers they seek, but to provide the idea that they should expand their questions. Too often, people look for binary answers: yes or no, on or off, black or white, what’s good or bad. Yet the world is so much more complex than that. By going beyond simple answers, I get them to truly think about the experience they want to have, and I’m able to serve them in a more rewarding fashion. The end result isn’t just about a great meal for them, and hopefully better gratuity for me. It’s in teaching them to look beyond what they are eating to why they are eating it.
This notion of raising the bar for every guest is a part of my bigger passion for raising the bar for every person I encounter. It’s not always as easy to do with people I’ve known for years, yet many of them, if given time to truly reflect on our history, would see my passion for serving and supporting others. I have spent a great many years being the best “right-hand man” I could, to some of the most talented people I’ve had the pleasure to call, “friend”.
Much like a guest who will not or cannot tip well, regardless of my effort, I have not always seen the results I’d hoped. I have not always been the best servant I could, and some of my efforts have fallen short. I still remain committed to the ideal that serving is the noblest profession, no matter the capacity to which one serves, and I still remain committed to the passion that I have for serving. No matter what the future holds, I hope I never lose that passion, and I hope I never stop serving, one way or the other. Enjoy!