Scott & Vickie’s “Excellent” Adventure!


On a recent vacation with another family couple, we made a reservation with an upscale restaurant one evening. The meal was okay but the dessert lacked. As a couple we each ordered a dessert. All four of us tasted one of the desserts and thought there was an ingredient that seemed spoiled. The other was bland and tasteless. When the waitress came to give us the check for the evening, she asked me how was the dessert. I’m not one to complain but I said, “Well the meal was fine but we didn’t like either of the desserts.” Her response was “Excellent! I didn’t know how to respond to the complete ignoring of my complaint. In fact I was left speechless. What do you say to a response like that!

Afterwards and for the rest of the evening “excellent” became a punchline each time something went wrong. Just by saying “excellent” the problem was swept under the rug, and we had a great laugh. In fact, the next morning when my sister-in-law texted my wife to ask how she had slept, my wife complained that she didn’t get any sleep at all because I had snored all night. The text back of, “excellent” momentarily caught my wife off guard before she remembered the classic ‘one-liner’ from the night before.

I’m sure the waitress was so used to hearing that everything went well that she had self-programed herself to automatically say, “excellent”, at the close of each meal. Which makes me think about how ‘excellent’ our hearing is when it comes to daily matters. Are we really processing what our spouses, children, loved ones and others are really saying. Or our we on an “excellent” adventure, never really hearing what people are telling us. I remember a good friend who would ask a question but when you would respond, it was clear they were really not interested in the answer. I find myself guilty of doing that more than I want to admit.

Listening is a skill that is developed and can become a great asset to our inter-personal relationships as well as work relationships. We paid for our desserts that night even though all four of us eventually stated to the waitress that the dessert seemed spoiled. Being told all was “excellent” didn’t change the taste of the desserts. In a way we left a good meal, feeling cheated.

Let us not leave our loved ones feeling “cheated” in our relationships. Let’s be truly, “Excellent” listeners as we go about our daily lives.

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