Kindness makes a difference

Published 6:05 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day after day, my alarm clock wakes me and I roll out of bed. The mornings of leisurely enjoying coffee in my robe and slippers seem like a distant memory. How funny that I have been working at the B&B just a few weeks, and it feels like much longer.

My somewhat frantic movements rushing to get breakfast ready are more methodical every morning. Settling into the routine and learning the ropes of running a kitchen has been challenging and fun. My biggest hurdle was learning to have everything ready at once, but I’m getting the hang of it.

On one particular morning, I was beginning to get more confidence in my skills when one of the guests arrived in the kitchen early. Feeling a little put out that someone would encroach upon my privacy so soon, I swallowed any annoyance and chatted with the guest.

Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m., so a 7 a.m. visitor to the kitchen distracted me from my work. My determination to remain calm and friendly even though I would have preferred the kitchen to myself served me well.

“Hi, I’m George. Do you have any coffee ready?”

“Hi, George. I’m Jan, and the coffee just finished. Help yourself.”

Things were going pretty well until the small talk turned to careers. I felt pretty intimidated to find out George was a culinary arts teacher and runs a restaurant! When he asked me where I received my training, I bit my lip and said, “I trained at home with my three kids and here for a few days before the owner headed out for Scotland.”

Turns out George was just a regular guy. He complemented me on the way I was handling the job and headed back to his room to let me finish breakfast. George and his wife stayed a few days and the more I was around them the less intimidated I felt.

I’m sure a culinary arts teacher could have been critical of my skills, but instead he encouraged me. I hope that I will remember to encourage those that are new in any field by remembering how George’s kindness helped build my own confidence. Kindness matters.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at