Somebody’s Watching You …

baked potato bar

So, you know that I was in charge of food for my girls’ band’s senior night, which the junior class hosts. Obviously, feeding 400 people after a football game is a big undertaking. But as the night wore on (and on and on; I ended up leaving at 2 a.m.), and most of the actual tasks were as completed as possible, I found myself observing more and more.

  • I watched the worker who showed up without fanfare, wearing a sweatshirt that didn’t even promote the band (band ones are pretty expensive). She left to watch the band perform at halftime — well, she tried. She came back when she learned that she’d have to pay $5 to get in to see the performance, so she turned around and kept helping instead. When the coffee machine made odd noises, she just smiled and said that things were going fine and would work out great (she was right).
  • I watched the dad who came in and said, “What’s the worst, ickiest job that you hate? That’s what I want to do!” with a big smile. Actually, I was kind of wanting to take him home.
  • I watched the kids swarm in to eat, happy and full of youthful energy. I waited, yet not one said thank you (to me — they may have thanked others). I reflected that my record here was worse than Jesus with the ten lepers. To be fair, I admit that eating dinner doesn’t really compare to being healed of an awful disease, and yeah, there’s also the bit about that part of a teen’s brain that doesn’t finish up until years later, but still … It reminded me of an incident in my youth. I was in band too, and once one of the directors’ wives held a baby shower for a lady who helped us flag girls. I went to the shower and enjoyed it. The next day, the director called us over and said, My wife worked really hard to plan that shower, and do you know how many of you said Thank You? NONE! I remember thinking, hey, I did, and then thinking … uh oh. I guess I didn’t. Well, I remember THINKING I would say thanks … It’s a moment I’ve always remembered, and I hope it has prompted me to show more gratitude in the intervening years. I volunteer mainly out of a sense of duty, but when others show gratitude, that’s when it becomes enjoyable.
  • I watched the head of the whole event trotting around in her jeweled, high-heeled sandals. She got in my face once, angry. Other times I observed her shaking her head, a grim look on her face, saying, “This is bad. This is bad.” If she had a single enjoyable moment during the entire evening, you could have fooled me.

large baked potato bar

It was interesting to observe a large group of people over a long, long night. The differences really stood out, because I was … watching. It gave me a lot to think about. You just never know when someone may be watching you.

6 thoughts on “Somebody’s Watching You …

  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this review of your experience. I enjoyed reading it this morning. The reminder of “Jesus and and ten lepers ; was just what I needed to hear and jotted it down on a post it and put it in my pocket. I rarely hear a thank you after spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals and yet when I volunteered at a Salvation Army dinner one evening last week I would say 90 percent said thank you as they walked by, including kids. Isn’t it amazing how a thank you can transform your day. I came home invigorated and eager to serve again. Just thought you’d like to know. Have a blessed day!

  2. I am always thankful when someone tells me how polite one of my kids was to them. I look around and don’t see it. As for the sandals lady–like the poor, they TOO are always with us. As a single parent I’ve often had to go to fundraisers without the “right” shirt because of the cost. I’ve had to take dollar store cookies when we were out of flour. It’s sometimes hard to stay focused on helping–just like you found. And, since you’re already married–did you get the Dad’s number who wanted to do the icky stuff??? Just in case he’s actually single!

  3. These are some interesting observations. What was the bejeweled woman’s major maladjustment? Shame on her. I tend to see only the bad things — part of my pessimistic attitudes — but I hope I would have thanked you for all the work you did. Bless the heart of the man who wanted the ickiest job!

  4. thanks for the reminder of how we are always being observed! Sometimes in our hectic lives, we fill up on the unimportant things and forget the small kindnesses and courtesies that connect us to a sense of gratitude. I complain that my teenagers don’t say thank you to me….but then, I’m not much better myself sometimes!!! One last comment–although I don’t mean to defend the high-heel woman, sometimes carrying the weight of a large event on one’s shoulders can really skew our perceptions of what’s important and what’s not. I’m sure she was feeling pressure to have a successful event and felt that everyone would be looking at HER if it failed. Sometimes we all need to remember to take a step back–even if we’re wearing high heeled shoes–and take a breath, count our blessings and remember our priorities. What a GREAT message to contemplate as we approach this bountiful time of year when God sends his harvest to us–free of charge. Do we remember to say thanks to HIM?

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