A few weeks ago a friend and I went to Friendly's Ice Cream for dinner. Friendly's is a regional restaurant that specializes in ice cream, but also serves meals. It's kind of a middle ground between fast food and a full service restaurant. In my opinion they make the best hamburgers anywhere -- full flavor, large, lots of goodies, always well cooked. They have been good for years.

In any case, we went for dinner because we had a coupon. People who live in the region will know that Friendly's is fighting for its life. It has gone bankrupt twice, downsized, changed the menu and trying to compete with the ChuckECheeze and Applebees of the world while staying true to its mission, which is to provide great ice cream. The restaurant is reminiscent of the Woolworth's diner counter of years past -- older, fading waitresses in stained gingham uniforms serving up greasy meals with a weary attitude. Of course, Friendly's wants to portray a more energetic atmosphere so they hired teams of younger girls and managers to sling the hash.

We sat down to order our meal and our waitress flew out to greet us, only she was like an energy tornado, with a 1000 watt smile. This wasn't just fake for the customer. You could almost see the light bursting from inside her. She was fun and funny and happy and it came through. She was right there every time we needed something and she never rushed us. While we were eating she was clearing other tables and cleaning up booths, and the entire time she had a bright smile, was humming and working both thoroughly and energetically. We couldn't keep our eyes off of her.

When the meal was over, I put a grave expression on my face and asked for the manager. Her smile faltered for a moment, but she did it. When he came over we told him how marvelous she was and that they were lucky to have her. She was bouncing around on her feet with happiness. Let us point out that is was not far from closing time, so she had to have been working for at least 4 hours. The manager said he knew she was great, he was glad to have her on board and thanked us for the feedback and he gave us a survey form. I went home and filled it out and gave the waitress, whose name I have since forgotten, high marks. I have never, ever done anything like this before. Who does? What difference does it really make? But I did it this time because she lit up that room as if she were plugged in, and her happiness and energy made ME happy as well. I've never seen her since, but whenever I go to Friendly's I look for her, and I hope she is well and happy -- her attitude will assure her success.

This story is from Quora.

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