Wednesday, March 18, 2015

God Bless, Ms. Evelyn

Her name is "Ms. Evelyn" to her Whataburger customers and she will never know how important she was to me. Have you ever seen the movie "As Good As It Gets"? Melvin, a man with contamination OCD, among other rituals, goes to the same cafe for breakfast every morning. Carol, his waitress, is there every day, dutifully serving him his meals and putting up with his endless quirks and general creepiness. One day, Carol doesn't show up for work, and Melvin freaks out. It is the routine that Carol provides that keeps Melvin calm, like medicine to his soul. Evelyn is my Carol. There haev been other fast food window attendants in the past that I have missed after a while, but Evelyn is different. Maybe it's because she's a nice person. maybe it's because it's hard to find good customer service these days. Maybe it's because she reminds me of one of my best friends who will no longer acknowledge my existence.

I purposefully drive to this particular Whataburger on my way to work every day because of her service. I am never late because of her excellent work ethic and quick thinking. She takes her job VERY seriouslly but still manages to keep her sense of humor. She keeps the line moving no matter what. You can tell her co-workers are equally in awe as to how she does what she does, and she does it with a smile.

Evelyn is an extremely hard worker. She probably earns a little over minimum wage, if that much. She acts like she's being paid big bucks to be your best friend from the first day she waits on you. When you drive up to her Whataburger order box early in themorning, you hear, "Good morning. Welcome to Whataburger, home of the something something chicken sandwich. My name is Ms. Evelyn. How may I take your order?" For time's sake, you want to interrupt her greeting and just get to the order-taking part, but you don't because she says it with such pride and conviction. After you order, she says, "Drive to the window, beautiful, sweetie, handsome," or whatever name she feels appropriate.

When you get to the window, she appears to have five hands. Takes your money, is making your change, is taking someone else's order and somehow pouring your drink and drying of the cup for any spillage. She God bless you, calling you the name above that she has decided on, talks to your dogs, laughs, God blesses you AGAIN and tells you to have a WONDERFUL day, with stress on the "wonderful."

When Evelyn is not at the window, the line of cars comes to a dead stop. Many times I've just driven off after waiting awhile. It's obvious Evelyn isn't at work that day, so what's the point? Totally throws off my routine and gets my day off to a bad start. Several times I have gone on the Whataburger website to give her positive feedback at her request because "someone has it in for me and gave me a bad review." Several times I've given her a dollar tip or told her to keep the change to let her know what she does is appreciated.

It's routine like this that is both good and bad for my OCD. On one hand, it's predictable, so there's very little chance of a panic attack on my way to work, my day starts off "normally", I should say. On the other hand, it's routines like this that I get into that contribute to me falling apart when the routine is interrupted. So I guess I should have seen it as a step forward when Evelyn whispered to me out the window a couple of weeks ago, "I put in my two-week notice." "Hey, I can handle this," I thought. I told her I was happy for herand her new job, where she might be able to move up the ladder one day.

I got in the car today with my two dogs and asked them, "Ready to say goodbye to Ms. Evelyn?" I don't know which day is her last day, but I know it's coming up. Today will be my last trip to that Whataburger for awhile until I get into a new routine. When we got up to the window, I told her that my dogs and I had come to tell her goodbye and wish her good luck. I gave her my $2.32 and then put a $20 bill in her hand. "This is for keeping me on time to work everyday." She started crying, held the money over her heart and mouthed, "Thank you. God bless you." Callie yawned and I drove off.

Thank you and God bless you, too, Ms. Evelyn

(Footnote: Be kind. You never know how your kindness affects others.)


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