It’s winter here in Lahore, Pakistan. Not cold enough to snow, still the temperatures can fall well below 10 Degree Celsius. A week ago, not too happy with the dinner menu at home, I decided to order fast food. The expected time was 45 minutes as told by the fast food chain call center operator which was okay. We were hungry, 45 minutes passed. Then another 15, we got hungrier, and another 15. Still no sign of the food. Finally I got a call from the person who was supposed to deliver the food. He had no clue at all what the location was and asked me for direction. I was quite frustrated to hear this. I gave him the directions and hung up. I’m not giving him any tip I said to myself !
Finally after a total of 2 hours, 15 minutes the door bell rang. I went down to pick the food. It was really cold ! The guy was there on a motorcycle, riding it for an hour before he found my place. With an embarrassed smile, he said “Sorry sir, it took so long.” I told him to leave it and hand me the bill and the food, which he did. I gave the money, with a tip much lower than I usually give since I was not too happy. I told him to keep the change. He didn’t understand, and tried to return the change. I told him again. He still didn’t get it. I then explained to him the bill is x, I gave you y and you can keep the remaining amount, it’s for you. He was quite happy and said “Thank you very much sir.” I had tipped him so less yet he was so humble and thankful, I was surprised. I quickly closed the door and stepped back in to the house.
The moment I came back in I realized, it was not entirely his fault. The food chain might have weak processes, where there is variation in order processing time. May be they don’t follow standards, may be they are understaffed, may be this was an anomaly, whatever the reason, it is not this guy’s fault. I then wondered how come he had to be the one who rode his bike in this cold, dark winter night while I was the one who was sitting in his warm house to waiting to enjoy the food which this guy brought with such difficulty. May be he did not take his education seriously when he should have. May be he spent time wandering the streets when he should have focused on his future. Or may it was not like that at all. May be the conditions in his family forced him to take a job instead of studying. Then again, may be the guy had some intellectual disability since he had a hard time finding the way and understanding that I was giving him a tip. Who was I to judge him I came to realize. I had been fortunate enough to have all the luxuries and he was not. “I am so blessed” I thought. Yet what do I do, instead of being grateful for what I have, I worry about what more I want and how I can get it. The next raise, the next promotion, the next car, the next house?
I was and still am so lucky to be on this side of the door, the side leading to the comfort and luxuries of my house, my family, my great job. So are most of us! All of us, who can read this through our computers, laptops, cell phones, all of us are better than billions of others who can’t even afford to eat a single cold meal everyday ! Who don’t know whether there will be a next meal for their children or not. Let’s be grateful for what we have! Let’s start 2015 with a vow to be happy and enjoy with what we have achieved in our career, and share this happiness and success with others!
Wish you a very happy, successful and blessed new year… !