May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

There have been many articles and postings lately about the cost of additional items on a bill in a restaurant that the writer or poster did not expect. Recently a person noted that they were charged $5 for a tzedaka which they had never been asked if they wanted to contribute to. Then there are the other costs which people question. Is the tip included? What happens when the items are delivered? Where does the tip go then? Is it to the delivery person or to the person who prepared the order in the store? These are items that the chachamim of the world need to decide. They do not particularly interest me.

What I would suggest to many of the local businesses is that they add a charge on each bill of.50 if the employee serving the customer produces a smile at least once while having contact with the customer.  Actually I think that 75 cents additional  would be right for eye contact and a smile.

I know that we are living through a time where it is difficult for businesses to get employees. Once an employee is hired wouldn’t it be a great idea to rate them on their friendliness and attentiveness? When was the last time that you walked into a store and complimented the server on his “bright eyes” or nice colored shirt when it is difficult to find something special to zero in on? I cannot imagine that the demeanor of the person would not change instantly. I would hope that the person would not faint!

We have to do our job in reaching out to these employees and showing them respect and kindness. In my case I know that I do so and usually see a reaction. The employees in the neighborhood that have made the greatest impression on me have been some of the Dunkin staff and the staff at Lazy Bean. How many have mentioned that we do not see Rudy at Dunkin as frequently as we would like because he spends most of his time at the American Dream location of Dunkin? He knew when I asked how he was that I really meant it. We would converse as friends. Others at Dunkin are equally friendly once they get to know the customer. We must reach out to them. The team at Lazy Bean amazes me when they are working under tons of pressure and I have never seen them lose their cool. “The milk is too hot or too cold. I wanted iced, not hot.” Not a mean word or grimace. Hurray for them.

I have watched the rudeness offered to employees by our community members and have cringed each time. However, not everyone is like that. Let’s hope that they are the exception. Should there not be coaching sessions for employees? Dos and don’ts of working with the public? And unfortunately there probably should be such sessions for patrons who exhibit awful behavior in front of their children and local teenagers in the manner in which they treat employees.

I remember the days when every Shabbat we had a class in our home for people to discuss different topics referring to mitzvot bein adom l’chavero that we all face in our everyday lives, without necessarily realizing the opportunities which we have to go out of our way to be kind to others as well as the times that we, perhaps without realizing, act inappropriately to others. It is amazing how many situations come up in our everyday lives that we need to work on in bettering ourselves.

Might I suggest a “smile—be extra friendly week” and would love to hear if anyone would see significant changes.


Nina Glick can be reached at:  [email protected]

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