What does it mean to be Spiritual? It's Plain and Simple
The word Spirituality is perhaps bandied around as something just beyond ourselves, or as something unfathomable, as something someone else is better at, as something somebody else has achieved. But perhaps it’s just what goes on between people when we sense another’s need and we are right there with just the right word, not from the heart but from something simpler, beyond that, a simple uncomplicated kindness just because you could, just because you were there and you knew and you felt
In between establishing our practice at Serenity and Hypnotherapy in Exeter, Teignmouth I have worked at the Ness front of house. It had been a busy afternoon with the usual Sunday afternoon Sunday roast rush. Just about on top of it all, I’d been enjoying it. There had been a group of four sat in the conservatory at table 2 with its beautiful view overlooking the Teignmouth estuary and the English channel, a Mother, Father Daughter and boyfriend. They had been quite demanding, I had worked hard for them supplied them with all their needs in seconds, no fuss, I hadn’t batted an eyelid, there wasn’t time. I was happy they’d had good service, the food was good, everything on time, the rest of the staff were on it too, they’d had a good experience from the restaurant side.
It came to the bill, I’d printed it and explained that the wifi might cut off where they were sat which meant they would have to come to the bar, I’d brought the machine out, the signal cut off.
There had been another few orders or demands from other tables right at the same time, that happens working in a restaurant, so in between them getting to the bar, which took a few minutes as the ladies were getting their coats on and they admired the view one last time, I ran to the kitchen for something, then to get some sauces or cutlery or what ever it was for somebody else, I forget exactly. I’d also dropped the bill at another table too, it had been a blur for a couple of hours by then.
The father eventually got to the bar with the bill in hand, as I was readying the card machine, I recalled when I thought back later, the woman looking over his shoulder and nudging him, it was so subtle, I didn’t take too much notice, why would I, I was so busy.
They paid and off they went. A few minutes later table 4 came up to pay whom I’d also delivered their bill, Josh had opened up their tab to find it already paid for. I was stunned. For a moment the world stood still; all movement suspended, the pub stood still; a long second later it lurched into life again, the noise crashed into my frozen world.
The four on 2
It was my fault; I had taken the two bills across, one after the other, table two first, table four next. I had got distracted, I had left the tab open on table four and table two a table of 4 had paid for four a table of 2 if you follow me, which was at least £70 less.
They had left minuets earlier. I looked at josh and said “shit” and just ran out the door after them, I ran up the hill to the car park at the back of the pub walking around peering through car windows, I couldn’t see them so I ran all the way down to the hill and along the beech to the Clipper restaurant searching for them, but they’d gone.
I went back up to the Ness, I felt so bad, George just looked at me as I went through the door, I love George, but George doesn’t make those kind of mistakes, it hung heavily around my neck. Eszter tried to brush it aside and said
“Oh these things happen”
But I felt the change in the ranks. Josh didn’t look at me. I felt bad. Damn what a foolish thing to have done, I’d been feeling so happy, I had been enjoying the shift and the place, it all came crashing down. What a stupid mistake. I hadn’t had my glasses on at the till.
As I’d walked back up the hill I thought back and recalled the woman nudging the man. He’d kept a straight face, very conspiratorial, I realized they’d seen it and known it wasn’t theirs, it was a whole different list of meals. I was really angry, so disappointed, what an awful bunch of people. How could they have done that? I remembered them during the afternoon, they’d put on the venire of respectability, but basically they were thieves, dishonest, rotten. I took it personally I knew they’d known and for all they knew I would have to make up the difference, if it was a mistake and they hadn’t realized fair enough, but they had and I’d been genuinely good with them. It’s shattering to come up against such dishonesty. I know their name and was tempted to print it here but as Orsi says revenge breeds revenge and with all the sessions Hypnotherapy in Exeter Teignmouth I knew i had to somehow let it go.
It gets better
But this is where it gets better, an unexpected, thoughtful, action of another that spoke volumes, the reasons perhaps for this challenge and others like it, spirituality in action not for points, not to be noticed or any other reason, just because; and in my book that is where its at and these are the things that matter, that last a life time and who knows perhaps beyond; the strength of character and the depths of those around us who become apparent at times like these.
The outstanding balance
Tom and Eszter the assistant managers were amazing. It turned out that Eszter was able to track down table 4 through their credit card and got their phone number, there was no answer of course, she left a message requesting them to call back, we all hoped they would. Tom had told Ester that if they don’t call back the Ness were legally be able to take the outstanding balance from their card after 10 days (I think it was).
I wouldn’t say I am the best ever front of house, but I work hard, I am honest and I can light a table up, I think the ness are ok with me, but it was all such a lot of hassle, we were so busy and could have done without it. I’d worked so hard that morning, been right on top of the conservatory, music room and lounge, around 13 tables or groups on my own, I’d enjoyed it, perhaps I was running too fast, when it boiled down to it, it was my mistake but they had certainly taken advantage.
Arrogance and inconvenience
The rest of the shift I was like in a boat adrift, becalmed as they say, no wind on the waters, my sails were slack. The crowds died away too, it was a long last couple of hours but just before I left Tom caught me and said they’d called back
“They man had been ok with it all but the woman had demanded a discount for their inconvenience”
Astonishing arrogance, the man wasn’t ok, he’d been the instigator, a thief, she’d followed his lead and was simply; ugly. Tom gave them a £10 discount ‘if they need that 10 quid let them have it’ he’d said.
I’d called in for Orsi at the Clipper Restaurant on the way home that evening and talked about what had happened. It was a few hours later when my phone went. I very nearly didn’t answer it as I didn’t recognize the number. It turned out to be Eszter. Calling just to put my mind at rest to let me know table 4 had called back and that it was all sorted. She hadn’t known Tom had spoken with me as I’d left.
Now that is what I call leadership, she’d seen my face as I’d passed her by having her lunch break. She’d looked right at me, her look had taken me by surprise. I was and am still deeply touched by the call. Eszter is great. She instantly had my loyalty, to be honest she already did, Tom too. It was such a caring thoughtful act and perhaps a better reason for all of this, she hadn’t needed to call but she had and really that’s the point. I hadn’t been reprimanded, she’d understood, Tom too, instead they’d immediately looked for ways to resolve the matter, all of that came tumbling into my mind right then. Its people like them who you want on your side. Before she put the phone down she’d said in her wonderful Hungarian accent
“No need to worry now Mick, it’s all sorted”
I’ve heard people talk of those they deem to have obvious spirituality and knowledge, perhaps looking for people in robes or look towards those who say and advertise they are and that they have. People looking for somebody to tell them how to live.
But perhaps the most profound spiritual acts are the ones amongst people we work and coexist with each and every day of our lives, perhaps real spirituality isn’t pondering on the universe and spheres outside of ourselves or deep within ourselves, perhaps it’s looking at the souls and the people that orbit around us every day in places we perhaps wouldn’t call spiritual, but of course, it all is isn’t it.
What Eszter did with the phone call was demonstrate leadership, care and was in my book a deeply spiritual act. She saw the effect those people had on me, saw my disappointment and my embarrassment. She called to put it right and lift me back up.
Its own reward
A few days later when all said and done I am happy to have the Moral code that I have, feel lucky that I was brought up in the way I was, my parents and my amazing grandparents too, open generous and trustworthy. It is very likely that because of their influence I was destined to help others through Hypnotherapy in Exeter, although, why we found ourselves in Exeter is a whole blog in its own right. There is no way I would have walked out of the Ness had the situation been reversed, and to know this is its own reward
Loyalty isn’t bought
It is disappointing to know that these sort of things are out there that people will make those choices and think they are right. But perhaps the lesson was brought around so I could be experience Eszter and Tom who demonstrated what is important, they never skipped a beat, never blinked, moved on, they didn’t want my thanks it was just something to be dealt with, and because of it they have my loyalty and you can’t buy that. Where ever I go in the coming years when I think back to them a light will go on, I will talk of them to others and warmth will flow from me to them just as it has as I have written this.
Ripples through time
I have enjoyed writing this one, felt my heart open as the pages unfolded, it is where perhaps, or at least I believe, what we should be striving for, not as an effort in a meditation class or a therapy session but in our daily lives, little things, kindnesses that ripple outwards are remembered and ripple back to us, never loosing that trust the knowing that there is always a silver lining and that all shall be well.