10 September 2007

service anyone?

Life at a bed and breakfast often surprises me. This weekend in particular, I had several first time b & b guests (talk about pressure)! Of course I want their experience to ensure they'll return to a b & b, if not here, then to fraternize some other lovely inn. Nearly all the guests of the weekend were honeymooners. In the perspective of a b & b as a business, the beauty of honeymooners, if we "innkeepers" do our job right, is that they often book their anniversary, sometimes year after year after year. To me, one of the signs of a good visit is the time spent at the breakfast table. If they linger, if the conversation continues in a way that I don't have to "facilitate" it, I'm confident they're enjoying themselves and each other.

This weekend also surprised me with things guests requested. For instance, a young college-aged couple from the Chicago area asked if they could store things in the refrigerator. Part of what they stored was cookie dough. "If you don't mind us baking, we'd like to share these with all the guests." They're the same guests who biked to the farmer's market on Saturday morning and returned with flowers for the other guests and for me (naturally this puts them into my "favorite" guests exclusive club).Not to be outdone (right, it wasn't a competition), the Friday night honeymooners asked if they could bring in food from their reception and invited anyone who wanted any to help themselves.

In the midst of this, however, I'm assessing my heart. See sometimes the demands from the guest were not "might you have a vase for these flowers that we want to give to everyone," but landed more in the category of "could you bring this to our room and that to our room and when you have time could you do this..." and, well, I felt my heart slipping from the "willing to serve" position into something more resentful and ugly. I realized that I'm happy to serve when it doesn't inconvenience me to do so. That's just not something to be proud of.

To magnify things even more, I'm reading a biography on Mother Teresa for my current class. If I wasn't feeling convicted enough, this woman's life and love...well, I'm sure you'll hear about it again. Just as soon as I get through John Chrysostom...

oh, but I did have friends visit me, too this weekend while I worked (as the above picture shows). I love that. Thanks friends!!!

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