Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Signs the Future is Bright

Signs the future is Bright

Last week, I worked as a volunteer for a new annual Family Day for Whistler Blackcomb, sponsored by Nintendo. My station was the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association, and their event was a demonstration on how these highly intelligent dogs are able to find people buried in an avalanche faster than the most modern technology we as humans can use.
One lucky kid was picked from the audience and “buried” in one of 3 snow caves, with the help of a ski patroller (we’ll call him Andy). While Jen, the host, explained what was going on, answered questions, and distracted her dog from seeing where the kid was hidden, Andy buried him and came back to the group. Anyway, the dog found him, we all cheered, and Jen thanked everyone for coming to see the show. Just then, the child tapped Jen and said he had seen Andy drop $10 while he was digging, and could she give it back to him please?
Later that day, at work, 2 sisters came into my restaurant and sat at the bar. They were my only customers, the older about 13, the younger about 10 or 11, and I was able to carry on a distinguished conversation with them while Shrek played on the tv (I had actually put it on before the kids got there). While the younger didn’t talk much – I suspect she was just shy – I really enjoyed meeting these Portland kids, they restored my faith in the future of humanity. I bet they listen to Led Zeppelin.
Then last night, again at my restaurant, was a quiet one for service (as Mondays are wont to be) when a 13-top (that is, 13 people in the party) walked in – 6 adults, 7 kids, 0 reservation. At first I’ll confess I was filled with dread ; groups can be a hassle; that’s where the auto gratuity was borne of. There’s no [point running around for a big tables every whim only to get stiffed on a huge bill (this table’s was almost $450, and they didn’t even have dessert). Furthermore, kids can be bratty, and taking care of 7 of them no matter how temporarily, makes me feel like I need a teacher’s diploma.
Fortunately, they were all fantastic kids. The family was from Mexico and the kids spoke better English than I speak Spanish. Every time I filled their water glasses, brought them their pop or dinner I was greeted with 7 thank-yous. I even helped them with a game of Hangman – in English – when the girl didn’t know how to spell her word. They were even sitting at a separate table, something I think all three parties enjoyed (including myself). The adults were just as good, but you don’t get a gold star for doing what you’re supposed to.
Just makes me think that maybe this world won’t descend into anarchy when people still remember to say please and thank you.

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