OMG had a total God moment tonight. One of those times that I feel is evidence of intelligent design.
Tyler and I were on a time crunch, and picking up food for me. I ordered from a mexican restaurant on the phone. Their website was down, so I wasn’t able to use a menu. I ordered generically on the phone, simply picking each detail of what I wanted in 2 steak tacos. The girl was really patient and even let a normally-costing thing be free for me. So Tyler and I drove to the place then, just a few minutes away.
I told the guy at the counter that I could pay now (they normally wait until your food is brought to you). I had $11 cash, and more in my bank account. The total was 11-something. I looked at the money I had, and started to grab my debit card. The guy said not to worry about the change, and just accepted the cash I had. Sweet!
He headed to the kitchen to check on my order, then came back and started writing up a new kitchen ticket for some reason, asking me about what I ordered. I gave vague detail since I’d already placed the order. He then asked about the fact that I said I’d ordered already. I was like… yeah, a girl on the phone helped me. He went back to the kitchen, and I assumed he was going to track down the original ticket.
Then it dawned on me that I’d actually called a different restaurant. I quickly ran out to let Tyler know that I’d called the wrong place and that it would be another minute.
I went back in and waited at the counter for a minute or two, before it occurred to me that they might try to make the food without coming back out to question me again. I ran to the kitchen and began explaining the situation, starting with an apology, and ending with asking for my money back. He informed me they’d already began making the food, though.
It wasn’t surprising to me that he basically said then, Take this food. With a smile, gently, and I understood the gesture.
I did not expect it to escalate from there.
I explained that I have to go pay the other place, and that I’m sorry but I do need my money back, for it had been a misunderstanding. To my surprise, he basically told me again that No, I am to take this food.
I hadn’t even told him the complete order when we’d spoken 2 minutes ago… it wasn’t my fault that he had jumped the gun. But I didn’t bother mentioning that menial detail. It didn’t really matter. It was a busy night at the restaurant: Tables and booths were full, a bunch of waiters and kitchen people were standing there staring at us, and it was time for me to leave.
Unfortunately- but not way too badly- I went straight to last resort. I went on a bit of rant until he began walking back to the cash register with his head down and a pissed-off look on his face. “No, this was a big misunderstanding, I told you I’d already ordered, and I have to go pay them!”
“I’m not paying $20 to go to 2 places, I need my money back!”
“I promise, I come here all the time, I always tip like 10 bucks, I’m not trying to screw you!” Petty, yes. I was desperate to get this guy’s understanding. Making it worse every second, I know.
Our shared walk through the crowd, now including bar-dwellers and people waiting to pay and people waiting to be seated that are standing all around the register, was heated with all those words and his silent but boiling resignation.
Money was taken from the register and handed to me, the $11. I thanked him and left one of the dollars on the counter. It was one last tactic to prove I had not meant to cause trouble.
I found that ironic, because I was pretty sure the total at the other restaurant was $10-something, and now I was going to be short on cash in the same fashion at this next place, too. Nothing I was upset about, just something interesting I noticed.
Tyler and I then drove to the other restaurant. The girl at the counter was clearly the one who had taken my order. She was being genuinely friendly, but you could tell tonight’s shift had been hard on her. I decided she would get the ten-dollar bill in my hand. She’d been super patient on the phone, went through a really hard time, and then was still being kind.
Once it was my turn, it became apparent that my money total had not been recorded. At this point I wonder if I’d actually been given one in the first place. Minor detail.
She remained friendly, but her face screwed a little as she pondered how to ring up my order, since it wasn’t exactly on the menu. I kept my 10 in hand, ready to hand over as soon as the food would come out, and paid with the debit card.
As I signed the credit slip, an interesting conversation took place between her and a worker that came up to her with a bunch of cash. She told him, “I need tens.”
I was stunned.
He asked her something like, “You do?” (As in, how much demand is there for them?)
She said, “Yeah. I have one.”
Then I was double-stunned.
Did that really just happen? I didn’t even ask myself that question. I knew immediately that I was meant to be there at that moment.
My entire body felt supernatural. A very strong feeling of knowing that this is what I mean when I say God speaks to us!! It’s not always hearing words in your mind- in fact, that’s probably the least common type.
3 days ago (below) when I said that I heard “Repent” in my mind, was an extremely rare occurrence for me. It’s only happened, at most, a few times in my life, and can be easily be written off as just something in my own mind.
But experiences like tonight’s, when something happens in “real time” with “real people,” are the type that make me go, THAT’S God speaking to me, and gives me another reason to believe something higher is at hand than earth here!
Once the other worker was gone and we were just standing there waiting for someone to bring out the food, I asked her if it had been crazy there tonight. She said it really had been, and some people weren’t very nice.
With that statement, I was even happier that I would be tipping her this 10. I kept it held out as we talked further, and she glanced at it now and then, surely wondering why I was holding it out, having paid already, and with a card…
I explained what happened at the other restaurant. I wanted her to understand the true meaning of my tip, the bigger picture than what she’d been through tonight.
She didn’t appear to exactly appreciate my story, and I felt bad bringing her this upsetting story after she said customers had been rude. After all, she hadn’t seen what I had gone through either, and could easily assume that I just fit in with all the people who gave her a hard time tonight. I understood it. But I knew she’d ponder the situation later and figure it out, and wasn’t yet aware of my tip, so I stuck with it.
On the last word of my story, the food came out, God’s perfect timing. No time for her to react to me, and we all know that customer-hostess conversations only last as long as they have to, so it was good to end without expectation of a reaction. It was perfect for both of us.
There’s a little more to the story- what happened after I left- but this is all I have time for tonight. I thanked her and left the 10.