Ode to the Waitress

by | Oct 1, 2014 | 10 comments

Last month, I posted about an exceptional bus driver who takes such pride in and enjoys his career in such a way that it makes me smile on a daily basis.

Well, soon after I published that post my husband and I went out to dinner. We had this waitress, who at first, drove me batty. She was almost ‘too’ kind. Calling us ‘dears’ and taking a long time to share her opinions on the menu. I was feeling very hungry and irritable and just wanted my food.

The evening went on and by the end of it I was in a delightful mood, even saying to my husband “This woman LOVES her job. She takes such pride in what she does. I am enjoying her service.” She totally grew on me! Instead of making me more upset, or shifting to talking to us less after reading my negative vibes- she continued on to smile, talk to us and what happened was amazing.

Right before my own eyes- I felt 100% better. My mood was uplifted and I enjoyed her company. The smiles and chatter that I once thought were annoying were fun and upbeat. I started asking her questions about how long she worked there and how much she loved her career.

This made me think about our nursing practice. As nurse professionals, we experience difficult times in our nursing careers. Some patients are in bad moods; some family members yell at us; some providers snub us off. And we have a choice.

We can choose to allow their energy to impact how we feel. OR we can continue to stay grounded in how we feel and continue on with our upbeat, positive and cheerful nature.

[Tweet “We LOVE nursing so why let others bring us down about our nursing careers?!?”]

While our waitress was very nice, I was being a ‘Negative Nancy’. I was making little eye contact, rushing her along and giving her one-word responses. By the end of the meal, I was engaged and asking her questions. I was laughing, smiling and making good eye contact. My energy totally shifted as I felt and allowed her positive vibes to bring me to her level of joy.

You have a choice each day in your nursing career. You can let others bring you down or you can continue on being yourself and hoping that others see, feel and experience you in such a way that lifts them up. What will you do?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and enjoy your health today.


  1. Marti Hansen

    As I was beginning my shift the other night, my boss was just leaving. As she was saying goodbye, she asked me if it was going to be a good night. I told her that it was because I had said a prayer as I left to come to work and then said another for all of us working as I entered the hospital. I also told her that I had taken a few deep, cleansing breaths so I knew it was going to be a GREAT night! She patted me on the back and said, “Well, I guess you have taken care of everyone and assured things well go well. I won’t worry.” We had a great shift and I felt like at least she knew that I had gone into work with a positive mindset and wasn’t going to be a “negative Nancy.” It does make a difference when you have a positive attitude and can change the entire direction in which your day or shift will go.

    • Elizabeth Scala

      You can absolutely choose your reality. It’s all about how you look at things. Well said, Marti. Thanks for coming by. Elizabeth

  2. diggingher

    Absolutely agree. We don’t have to let someone else’s negatively bring us down, in fact I’d say we owe it to them and our authentic self not to be reactive.

    • Elizabeth Scala

      Right on! Thanks for coming by, reading and taking time to share the post. Enjoy the day, Elizabeth

  3. Lori 'Minky' Radcliffe

    Hi Elizabeth!
    I see your shakin’ and bakin’ with your latest book, nice job!

    We must be on the same vibe this week.
    Even though you wrote this a while ago,
    I only saw it today! Which tells me it was meant for me to read!

    I quoted Steve Martin with the same quote in my newsletter and new website.
    I’m not sure where you heard it, but where I heard it,
    his actual interview,
    he was referring to being good at your skill, craft; not necessarily being positive.

    I suppose you could stretch it to mean if you’re positive,
    you’re likely to be good at your craft.
    Is that the connection you were making with the quote?

    A great life quote nonetheless!

    Thanks for the waitress story; many times they can be rushed.
    It’s nice when you get pleasant service and, I agree, it can make your day.
    Take care,

    • Elizabeth Scala

      Thanks, Lori! So glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to share your comment. Enjoy the day, Elizabeth

  4. Karen Apy

    Love this Elizabeth! Speaks right to the heart of how we approach each and every day. We make a choice. We should all strive to be kind and have the courage to lift another 🙂

    • Elizabeth Scala

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for coming by and taking the time to share your comment. Yes, you are right- each day we have a choice and we can choose to feel good or bad. So glad that you enjoyed the post,


  5. bethboynton80539889

    Great story, Elizabeth. A great way to take ownership of our own destiny. I love the phrase about not letting others bring us down! And this can mean different things to different nurses, right? I recently left a per diem job in LTC b/c I just couldn’t feel good about my work in the midst of chronic understaffing. Part of my frustration was an almost constant feeling of not being able to do a good job. I don’t feel like a victim, but rather someone who is making the best choice for me. Thanks as usual for your inspiring wisdom.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi there Beth,

      Thank you for coming on by and taking the time to read and comment on the post. You got it; we can choose whether or not we allow others to bring us down. Or, on the positive, lift us up! I am glad that you enjoyed the article, and that you are enjoying your decisions for your well-being.

      Enjoy the day,



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