Who provides service?
Our military and every single individual who enlists serves our country, each and every one of us, all of us. Our churches and clergy serve our communities, our faith and our spirits. We are served by educators and their entire support system of internal service. We are served wellness and healing by our medical professionals, our insurance programs, our local health clubs – and all those who build the buildings that we enter; the dealers who sell us the cars and their ‘service’ departments who fix them and the gas stations that supply the gas albeit self-service. We reach out to professionals to help us plan trips (Kayak, Rick Steves), choose service providers (think Angie’s List). Of course, we reach out to funeral homes to help us plan those dreaded ‘services’.
We have the Internet to provide us access to information and more ‘services’ that were unimaginable when most of us were born. Of course, there are the cable and Internet and telecommunications companies that help us gain and maintain access to such a service. It takes a village.
We have professional services that some of us can’t live without: cosmetologists, landscapers, massage therapists, clinical therapists, dog groomers, mechanics and the list will never end, as our need for such services continues and evolves. And it will. Who knew Amazon would replace our shopping experiences to the extent that it has and who knew (maybe Bezos did) that it would make the impact on our daily shopping needs that it may be planning on? We probably don’t have a clue as of yet how we will be impacted, or we may already be impacted and not even know it. On a larger scale – we serve our planet. By doing whatever we can as individuals, as homeowners, as tree huggers – to contribute to clean air, green spaces and hopefully retaining what the EPA has been put in place for. A service we won’t be able to live with out.
There’s community service. Some may be assigned for legal reasons; most performed by people who are seriously dedicated to public service, whether in administrative roles or in beautifying their neighborhoods.
Writers write, editors modify and publishers publish and booksellers promote and sell. Truck makers design and build the trucks that the trucking companies buy in order to deliver the goods that are sold to us in all sorts of places, by the truck drivers who get it to those places far and wide. It takes a village.
In the workplace, many don’t often realize the service that they provide unless it is spelled out for them – in a job description or by assumption. There are those who serve customers in restaurants or banks, or retail stores and there is another never-ending list. Public service, private service, customer service. What does it mean to serve? Perform, provide, deliver; a cook can perform and create, the clerk can provide the checkpoints and the driver can deliver the food to you, or the wait staff can ‘serve’ your dinner to you. In a restaurant, you provide tips as a standard of thanks. A gratuity that can range from mediocre to outstanding, depending on the level of service. Wait staff most often rely on these tips for a living. What may go wrong in the kitchen does not necessarily reflect the abilities of the ‘server’ unless they are mindlessly going about their job; not paying attention to a delayed order, a wrong order, etc. The gratuity most often reflects the level of service, the timely attention, the friendliness, and the manner in which one is served. And in those places where gratuities are not a standard practice – service good or bad, is still recognized. The gratitude may be passed along in the form of a recommendation, or not.
I could ramble on about service, which I think I already have. What my point was intended to be – is to acknowledge all those factors that/who contribute to the end product or the end service. Technology has become a factor in everything we do or buy. But someone, a human, has created, trained, maintained whatever type of technology that is. Within an organization, there is an IT service department. These are people whose jobs require them to analyze or service the systems that other ‘people’ need to utilize to perform the specifics of their jobs. So internally, this is just one example of service within the same organization, who has customers inside and out of the scope of maybe what their job descriptions have spelled out for them.
We all provide a service. Most of us get paid for the services we provide to others. There are those who do not get paid – the under appreciated and under rated volunteers of the world. Volunteers can donate hours, days or weeks or longer to causes that have meaning to them (animal shelters), to organizations they want to give back to (hospice agency), to pay forward in a matter of education or empathy. There are so many ways to serve. Most volunteers will tell you, they get more out of their service than they think they give.
On a personal level – we provide friendship and support, when others need us. At work, we don’t (or shouldn’t) spit back the phrase ‘it’s not my job’ when we don’t feel like doing something. It takes a village. A village of do-gooders sometimes and a village of family; to be sure that our lives and our work impacts others in ways we don’t even realize yet. A good impact, an everlasting impact. You will be remembered for acts of compassion, kindness and generosity large and small. You will also be remembered for those times you could have, you should have, but you didn’t.
What are you doing for others?