“But I’m just a server,” she said. “So,” I replied, “I’m just a coffee salesman.”

Video Credit: Younes Marxieu


“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively” -Bob Marley


Her name was Cara, and I had seen her working at the same restaurant for three years now. It was a good restaurant, and she was a great server. On this particular day, I noticed something was a bit off about her.

I asked her, “Cara, what’s wrong?” She looked up from the register and replied, “I’m a really good server, but I want to make a difference.”

As I glance outside, I notice the sun had set, and the darkness was starting to take over. I take a deep breath, and ask her “why do you say that?”

“I want to be great, and change people’s lives, but I’m just a server.”

As I pay for my food, I was beginning to feel this was a bit too much emotion for my nightly takeout. I pick up my bag of food, and say something lighthearted to break this now awkward interaction. “So, I’m just a coffee salesman.”

Noticing my lively comment was ineffective, I decided to seize the moment. I set my bag back down on the counter, and asked, “What’s wrong, Cara? Really, what’s going on?”

After hesitating to reveal the real problem, she muttered out, “how do you deal with it? You’re almost thirty, and you’re selling coffee for a local coffee roaster. Don’t you want more?”

“Cara, there’s a reason why I’m selling coffee right now. I use the high frequency of interactions to learn how to sell better. Since coffee is a low ticket item, it gives me a chance to practice more than if I were selling high ticket items.”

As she closes the register, and straightens up the counter, she replies, “isn’t that frustrating?”

“Not at all! I get to make money while I develop myself for my dreams.”

I lean into the counter, and move in a little closer to her. “Cara, you don’t realize how much you can influence your restaurant from your position. Instead of harnessing your talent, you’ve allowed your position to define you.”

She snapped back, “well it’s not like I’m going to be the next Steve Jobs, or the future Einstein. I didn’t go to college, and I don’t have any special skills.”

“That’s your problem, Cara! Who said you needed a high IQ to be influential? Where on earth did you hear you needed to invent a product in order to possess greatness?

You’ve diminished the value of greatness to a simple action, or an accomplishment when in reality, it’s a personal state of being. The actions are just the result of you being true to yourself. It’s already in you, but you refuse to be aware of it. You’re so busy comparing your value to those who have massively influenced society, you can’t possibly let your own greatness shine!”

She looked at me as if a light bulb had turned on and exploded, right before our eyes. “But what if the extent of my greatness is only serving food?”

As I picked up my bag off of the counter, I told her one final thing. “When you realize that the greatness within was designed uniquely for you, serving food won’t be such a mundane experience. Remember, I’m just a coffee salesman.”

About Team Glass and Nails

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2 Responses to BUT I’M JUST A SERVER

  1. Steve Nicola says:

    Some excellent points here. I resonated with the statement: ” Instead of harnessing your talent, you’ve allowed your position to define you.” I’ve discovered that men in particular fall into that trap of letting what they do define too much who they are and then sadly derive their personal worth from that. They are human “doings” not human “Beings”.

    Thanks for a good insight Anton.


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