Honesty Is the Best Policy

My friend/boss/co-worker/mentor Brian (COO of Crescent Project) called me this morning as I was getting ready for my other job at the restaurant.  Brian is a 50-something New York Jew who found himself following Jesus and works with an organization dedicated to mobilizing the church to share the good news of Jesus with Muslims.  A Jewish Christian who loves Muslims.  He’s rare.

Brian wanted to talk about yesterday’s training, about training in general, and how we both think our method of training is very modern and doesn’t speak the language of postmodern people.  Brian’s a good friend.  I feel like I can tell him what I actually think without fear that he will judge me for it.  It might be because he’s a New York Jew, and it might be because we think a lot about the same things.  I’m not afraid of losing my job when I talk with Brian about my non-traditional thoughts, theology, and opinions.  That’s so good.

Brian also called because he wanted to talk about a new endeavor for me with Crescent Project.  He wanted to find out if I had the time in my schedule, with two jobs, two kids, school, and a wife to take on a new role.  I told Brian, straightforwardly, that as of right now I have x-number of hours in my schedule that I can devote to work with Crescent Project.  I told him that, because of my addition of school into the mix and the fact that I work 3 nights per week at the restaurant, I don’t have time to work on support/fund/partner-raising to reduce my hours at the restaurant.  I told him that I would love to take on the new role, but I wouldn’t be able to spend time working on raising the money to free myself up to do it.

I was honest.

Brian, and Fouad (the President and Founder of Crescent Project), both want me to take on the new role.  They believe in it so much that Brian told me that they are working this fall on raising support on my behalf to allow me to take on the new role.  That totally blew me away.  Instead of saying, “Yeah, I can totally work more hours and not get paid for it”, I told the truth.  I can’t do it on my own.  And Brian said its that important that they are working to help me do it.

Tonight, I was working at the restaurant.  We were super busy again, with a corporate party of 24 people on one half of the restaurant, and 26 other people eating on the other half (the restaurant had 50 total seats available tonight).  We killed it.  We were super efficient, and we did an excellent job with the corporate party.  We kept people drinking liquids (of all sorts) and provided excellent service to everyone who came in.

When it came time to take the bill to the corporate party, Lacey, the house manager, was unsure about whether we should do “auto-gratuity” for the big party.  I thought this was a no brainer, because I have been burned before by a big corporate party who only tipped 10% for the service we provided (no names (RLI)).  I said we have to do “auto-gratuity”.  Lacey left it up to me (wise move on her part).  I felt like we did an excellent job, like I mentioned, and I wrote the total including a 20% gratuity on the check (which was  $1490 plus a $298 tip).  That’s honestly what we deserved.  We were awesome.

I unabashedly delivered the check to the woman who was paying for the group.  She didn’t protest, thankfully, and she added another $150 to the tip.  For the math-dumb, that’s $450 on one group.  Not too shabby.

I think that I limit myself sometimes because I am afraid to be honest. I learned today that being honest is worth it.  I’m usually diplomatic, allowing other people to make decisions for me.  I usually am afraid to speak my mind when I am afraid of what someone with more power than me will think or do.  I didn’t do that today, and it totally paid off.  I wonder what my life would be like if I would just be honest more often.  I think I’ll keep trying it out.



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