Tipping the Dishwasher: A Lesson in Recognition

Lesson in Recognition Speaker Artist

My teenage daughter found herself a job on her own at a local diner. Part of the time she was a waitress and part of the time she was a dishwasher. Her mother and I were incredibly proud. A great learning experience in so many areas.

Both of the jobs were hard work, but as a waitress she immediately noted that not only did she receive monetary rewards for her hard work and leadership skills, she also received verbal praise from the customers. On the nights she worked as a dishwasher there were no tips or praise from the customers. Naturally, she enjoyed being a waitress more, but was happy to have any work. (Fortunately the owner of the diner is a skilled leader, and knew how to compensate for both with her workers keeping everyone happy and working hard.)

My wife and I were incredibly pleased with the excitement our daughter had with working and we never heard a single criticism. (Now if only we could instill that at home.) One night after working as the dishwasher, my daughter received a tip and a note of kindness from a customer. Someone had actually tipped the dishwasher!  While the tip was little in comparison to the tips she made as a waitress, her excitement was the greatest I had seen her return from work. She was so surprised by this unexpected act of generosity. I imagine she scrubbed those dishes with greater attention the rest of the evening.

In life there are positions in workplaces like the waitresses in diners that are naturally in the public eye and receive regular attention when they excel. There are also many jobs like the dishwasher that seldom if ever receive praise or recognition.

When we receive recognition our attitudes change. We change.

Let’s seek out the dishwashers in life from time to time and reward them with some recognition.

Remember to tip the dishwasher.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist. 

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

with his art and words.  

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