Post by Trenna Probert co-founder of Investable
Today wasn’t the best day I have had this year. Interestingly it wasn’t the worst, but it was sufficiently dour that I found myself head in hands shedding a couple of tears in a CBD restaurant at around 10am. Certainly it was far too early for tears! I suspect around 50% of my readers are likely either puzzled, dismayed or amused that I should think that an appropriate response to anything in the middle of the working week and amidst a sea of grey. So what was going on?
To be honest, the cause of my tears are not the subject here. And despair, sadness, nostalgia, anger, joy and laughter all can turn me to tears so let’s retain a skerrick of mystery and my dignity here. Instead I am keen to focus on what happened next.
A virtual stranger sat down beside me on the banquette and asked if she could give me a hug. And in that one moment of human kindness, the clouds of grey peeled back so I could see a ray of hope in what had appeared, just moments prior, to be an unfailingly rapacious and unjust world.
This lady is the Maitre d’ of Bowery Lane on O’Connell Street, Sydney. It is my preferred destination for coffee, lunch and drinks. And it is for one very good reason. It isn’t the food (which by the way is excellent – try the orecchiette with peas, chilli and parmesan) or the welcoming décor. It is the people. From the owner to the juniors sweeping up, they are welcoming, attentive, caring and real. But this was more than that. This was an authentic, selfless and caring act which made an enormous difference to a tired soul.
That alone would cause me to recommend the restaurant to friends and colleagues in context. I would probably also tell the story at dinner. But to actually take time to write a post and risk making myself vulnerable with these personal insights, indicates that there is something bigger here. There should be! For me it can be summed up in these simple points:
This wasn’t a fluke: This team always cares and it isn’t contrived. It is part of their DNA. Their brand has grown organically around its stellar people and this commitment has quickly become their unique customer value proposition. (I can’t be the only lady in Sydney who occasionally needs a quiet place where crying is just as okay as dining).
Humanity actually pays off: Here I am on LinkedIn promoting their restaurant, their people and their brand promise. I think they deserve it and that you will benefit from the recommendation. I hope that in turn they will too. And I promise I am not on the payroll!
It’s in all of us, and there is something in it for all of us: Finally, imagine what a difference if we all took time from our busy days to offer a moment of compassion to a stranger. It has to be worth a try. At worst it will only benefit your brand. At best it will make a real difference to someone’s life.
Happy Hump Day. I am determined to make tomorrow a better one. For everyone!