On many mornings, part of my routine on the way to work is to stop at the McDonald’s drive-thru for coffee. Over time, I’ve met a number of the employees, and I’ve been struck by a number of things about them:
- It is the most diverse group of people working together I’ve seen: African-Americans, Asians, Middle-Easterners, Latinos, and Caucasians.
- Three workers crowd together into the tiny drive-thru alcove and they laugh and smile and I find myself wishing I were a part of their conversation.
- I am always, always greeted with a genuine expression of welcome. Natasha says over the speaker, “This is Natasha, how may I serve you?” and though I can’t see her smile at that point, I can hear it in her voice. (She wears the most beautiful headscarves.)
- There’s an Asian woman whose name I can’t spell or pronounce – and she has an equally difficult time understanding what I say. Somehow we communicate with each other and when we finally get it right, we both laugh!
- Jason often shares a few words of inspiration as he hands me my change. A few weeks ago (a Sunday), he said, “Be a blessing today, okay?” And yesterday he said, “Could you do something to end world hunger?”
- Maria hands me my coffee (4 creams, 1 sugar) and sends me on my way – and I think she means it when she says, “Have a really good day!”
So today, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to service workers of all kinds who work for minimal and often minimum wage, who often have no choice in the hours or days they work, who often need to have more than one job to make ends meet, who often do not have healthcare benefits or paid sick time, and yet do their jobs faithfully, and even joyfully, making a positive difference in our lives!