Odd how such a seemingly simple act would capture my attention. I can't stop wondering whether he was purposefully trying to impress, or if it was just his personality to be this charming.
My sister and I were on a road trip that included a stopover in Washington, DC. We found a restaurant that looked very nice with its white linen tablecloths, but not so fancy that two casually dressed tourists would be out of place. On our way to our table, we spotted a well-known cabinet member and her entourage tucked away in the back and decided that with such a patron we were likely to enjoy a lovely meal. We were perusing the menu and chatting about our day when the waiter arrived with a pitcher of water.
He had a broad smile as he welcomed us, and without a pause, as he spoke, he filled our glasses with the grandest of flourishes. He started the stream of water close to the glass, lifted it high as he poured, then finished back down at the rim - without even a drop spilled.
The gesture was both formal and generous, his smile genuine. And we would never have noticed if he'd simply done his job and poured the water and moved to the next table. But this man, who, it turns out, was not even our waiter, and made us feel as welcome as if we were the high-ranking cabinet member!
Why would one person make the grand gesture, while the next pours water and moves on? Can we urge that something special in our own employees?