Reason to be Happy #418:
Fixing Your Mistakes
Anyone who has ever waited tables will appreciate this one.
So, a little backstory first: A couple weeks back, my talented writer friend and Capricorn sister Sharon Short and I went to The Wine Loft to celebrate our birthdays. We had a lovely dinner, festive cocktails, and decadent desserts—all brought to us by a fun, attentive server. When I paid my bill with a credit card, I made sure I left her a nice tip.
We left. The week got busy. It was over a week later when I was dealing with the receipts that had accumulated in my wallet. Imagine my mortification when I realized that the night of our birthday dinner, I had accidentally taken both the customer copy and the store copy of my credit card bill. I mentioned my horror to a friend. She said, "They swiped it. You got charged. Don't worry." "But, no," I protested. "The server has no idea I gave her a tip. As far as she's concerned, I totally stiffed her." This bugged me. Bigtime. Now, sure, I heard immediately that tiny little voice in my head suggesting that "Oh, well. No big deal. That's just a little bonus for you," but I slapped that little voice quiet. It was not okay. As soon as I could, I drove over to the Wine Loft. My server was not there (fortunately, her name was on the receipt), so I left a card with a note explaining what had happened. I included her tip (plus interest) in the card. The other servers listened to my story and kept saying, "That is so nice of you." Sure, it's nice, but it was also right. I made a mistake. It felt important to me to fix it.
Later that night, I received an email from the server thanking me and telling me "You made my day." She remembered me and my friend. (See? I would've been remembered for the wrong reasons!) And here's the deal: the tip wasn't all that much. It wasn't like I'd had a $100 dinner or anything…but it felt so good to do the right thing. I probably felt better making it right than she did receiving the tip. That's important to remember. Fixing your mistakes isn't just the right thing to do; it can actually make you feel happy.