This past weekend we attended a family birthday party in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  We arrived the night before the festivities and had a dinner at the Tempo.  Yes the gas station.  I would never have chosen to eat at a gas station, never.  

It’s my Aunt’s favourite place in Moose Jaw.  After eating there, I now understand completely why it’s her favourite and I will eat there again, and I will recommend it to anyone and everyone. 

Here’s why, one BIG reason and a supporting reason. BIG reason is Lorne.  Supporting reason is the food was really good, reasonably priced.  My husband and I had a very emotional day littered with frustration, anger, sadness and disappointment.  Tack that onto a 5 hour drive and we were both emotionally spent and not terribly joyous.  Then we concede to eat at a gas station, imagine our jubilance.   

Lorne greeted us when we entered the restaurant.  And at the onset had us laughing.  His non verbal reaction to our ’20’ when asked how many in our party set us off immediately.  He only got better.  I can tell you honestly, that was one of the best and most memorable meals I’ve had in a long long time.  The company was good, but the service was bar none.  He had us laughing out loud in bursts!  Nearly coming to tears from giggling so much.  He did nothing but be engaging, be kind, be attentive, be honest and be himself.  Lorne made our night, heck Lorne made our day and night.  Lorne brought us into a mental space of love, laughter and joy.  Lorne had no idea of what our day had been.  With the power of only conversation and engagement, his simple kindness and friendly demeanor left us feeling good, really good.  

Of course, that got me thinking.  Lorne is a man who serves multiple people at a gas station restaurant on the #1 highway on the outskirts of a small town in Saskatchewan.  And my own ego and perspective on gas station restaurants would have prevented me from ever experiencing Lorne.  So what else am I missing because of my pride?  Or my standards?  Or my perspective?  

To be honest it made me a bit sad to think of all the boundaries I’ve acquired over the years based on other people and other situations.  Where is my adventure, my willingness to try, my verve of what if?  When did I become a snob of sorts?  What kind of example am I?  

Lorne seemed happy in his skin, his life and his job.  Maybe that’s the key to good customer service, a contentment and personal satisfaction in who you are and where you are and what you do.  Or maybe that’s the key to life?

I’m going to work harder at moving beyond my limitations whether inherited or created.  I’m going to worker harder at not judging people and places and things based on what they maybe linked to – like a gas station.  And I am absolutely going to be grateful for people like Lorne who use their opportunities with strangers to shower them with joy and laughter, and also use their power for good.  Lorne, the server at the Tempo gas station in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is an example for us all.  Lorne is a leader.