Over five years ago, I did a series of blogs highlighting special people in my journey through life. I’m very gregarious and have friends from every walk, and once in awhile I stumble on someone who is a shining example of humankind. Now, those persons don’t come along often, but when they do, I know it. Sara is one of those rare shells I search for at the beach.
Even though I’d lived in the hood for almost thirty years, I’d never been inside The Cheers Bar and Grill. It was Trivia Night that drew me in, where the food was great and the folk were nice, so I became a regular. Last fall Sara was hired as the manager.
If ever there is an Energizer Bunny, it’s Sara. To watch her perform makes me weary. Not only can she handle orders, mix and serve drinks, deliver food, and bus tables, but she knows everyone by name. I’ve never seen her approach a table of eight to ten people and say, “Who ordered the BLT on sourdough?” She just knows. Her customer service is impeccable, as she balances bartending, serving, cashiering, and managing her staff with humor. Her effervescent smile and attentiveness to her customers is refreshing in this day of mean, cranky people, who complain about minutia.
Perhaps, because she’s also a yoga instructor with the physique that screams gym rat, she doesn’t rattle easily. She probably meditates through rude jokes, loud jukebox music, roaring televised sports, and occasional rowdy behavior. How else could one survive the chaos of managing such a high-energy establishment with a smile?
Yet, her most extraordinary example occurred Friday night. Granted, I usually take an elderly, lonely man to Cheers every Friday night for clam chowder and fish and chips, but I couldn’t do so that evening. At 6:15, I received a text: Sue, are you and Brad coming for dinner? When I replied we weren’t, her immediate response: Just checking, We are running out of fish, and I instructed the server to hold back on orders until we checked on you. OMG! Where else can I get this kind of service?
The pandemic, followed by the shortage of employees, has wrecked havoc on small, independent businesses. Local pop and mom specialty stores have closed or gone bankrupt due to quantity pricing and the convenience of internet shopping. Sure, you can eat and drink your way across America and even abroad at chain establishments, but if you dare to step aside your box, you will discover an amazing world of wonderful, friendly, caring people, like Sara.
Do unto others….