Act 22: Valued

Today, a guaranteed way of making a difference. Talk up a service staff member. It’s such an easy chance to make a difference in someone’s day – but ask any service staff member, and you’ll hear how rarely it happens. Don’t let fear of insincerity put you off. A simple ‘You’re amazing, thank you for that!’ goes a long way when it’s well meant.  

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
‘Thanks for that. That really helped.’ ‘How’s your shift? People treating you well today?’ ‘You’re doing a great job, keep it up!’ Drop a sincere thank you on a bus driver or till assistant (or steal one of the above).  

Go online – Yelp, Trip Advisor, or something similar – and leave a positive review for a local business. 

Get the name of someone who’s doing a great job, then find the email for customer service (most businesses have them online). Let the business know how great they were, or go into the business and tell the manager about them.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…”
(Philippians 2:3 NIV)

Your thought for today:

I spent three years working in various retail roles. I was a receptionist at a leisure centre for two years and a sales assistant in two different shops. So I’ve seen what it’s like to be on that side of the counter.

Shoppers might spend anywhere from five minutes to one hour in a shop unaware that the staff may be working anything up to 10 hour shifts. As you can imagine it gets very tiring.

One particular shift sticks in my mind. It was nearly time to go home and out of the blue a customer threw a hanger at me in the fitting room because I wasn’t putting the clothes away fast enough. Now of course it’s fair to say that I wasn’t sure what kind of day she was having and the pressure she was under, but I felt less than valued. Experiences like that stay with you. The way people sometimes treated us as staff made us feel like the clothes we sold were more valuable than us as people.

Those kind of negative experiences are pretty common but every once in a while customers would start a real conversation with me at the till, or pay me a compliment. Those moments would immediately brighten my day, make me a happier sales assistant and make me feel appreciated.

I worked as a receptionist whilst I was doing my A levels. I needed the money but I also needed to study, so, sometimes, I’d be doing a past paper behind the desk. Every Wednesday before the tide of swim school parents came in, one mum would make sure to come over to the reception desk and ask me how my studies were going. I always appreciated that she saw past the service I provided and remembered that I was a person with feelings, goals and dreams.

Jesus always saw the person beneath and went out of His way to make sure they felt valued, even when others regarded them as having no status. But then as pointed out in Philippians, He understood only too well what it was to be a servant.

 Written by Kezia Owusu-Yianoma
Kezia is the Social Media and Campaign Assistant at Stewardship. She’s 5’5½”, wears a size-6 shoe and loves to dance. If she’s not dancing, she’s napping. When she’s not napping, she’s either with friends or with family. If she’s not with them, she’s probably at church serving the youth or leading worship. And if she’s not doing any of that then she’s definitely at home watching My Wife and Kids.

Tell us what you’re up to today
Share your stories, ideas and adventures using #40acts on social media.
Send us an email: [email protected] and let us know how you’re getting on!