Working in the restaurant industry, you can imagine the less than favorable patrons that that often permeate my workplace. When you go to dinner, I think you should generally be in a good mood. You have someone waiting on you hand and foot, you're probably with family or friends, the least you could do is be nice to your server...right?
Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
However, last week, one of Inlet Seafood's patrons happenned to be four-time Oscar nominee, Julianne Moore. As fate would have it, she was seated in my section of tables. I was beyond excited. I'm a huge fan of her work and I had just seen her latest film, "The Kids Are All Right", which I fell in love with. I approached her table and said hello, mustering up as much confidence as I could and trying to not become too starstruck.
It was like it happened in slow motion. She looked up at me and smiled the kindest, most genuine smile I have ever seen. I introuduced myself and we began talking. However, I did not once mention that I was a fan of her work or anything too fan-crazy because I assume, being such a great actress, that she gets that a lot. I wanted her to feel comfortable and at ease. Afterward, I jotted down her order and made my way into the kitchen to tell the chef to rush the order out for the VIP.
What truly moved me though was just how kind and congenial she was. She was not pretentious, condescending or rude, as other celebrities tend to be. She was a beautiful, down to earth person who treated me with courtesy.
It made me think about a quote I heard once; "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." I mean, I think that quote was written for Julianne Moore. Here she is, an award winning actress with oodles of success and fame, and she is still such a kindhearted and friendly woman. It made me think about just how important it is to be nice in life. It can get you so far. Farther than say, talent or skill sometimes.
Think about it. I'm trying to find a career right now and no one wants to hire someone mean or boring. They want employees who are friendly and nice to be around. I mean, you could have the greatest grades in the world, be the smartest person on the planet, have the brain of a supercomputer, but if you aren't a joy to be around, who's going to want you?
I think personality and friendliness outshines a lot of things. Don't get me wrong, no one is going to find success if they don't have a good head on their shoulders or have minimal intelligence, but I think people sometimes forget just how far being charismatic and friendly can get you.
I've always been a pretty happy go-lucky kind of person who values kindness and respect. At the end of the day people want and need to be around other people who treat them warmly. There is not a doubt in my mind that if I had an employee who got his work done perfectly but was neglectful personally, I would exchange him for someone who maybe had to work a little harder at the job, but was nicer. And my assumption is that my potential employers feel similar...
Moral of the story: be nice to everyone because you never know who you're going to meet.
So after Mrs. Moore's food was served, I periodically stopped back at her table to check on her to see if "the kids were all right". We ended up joking about wine and laughing together, a moment I will cherish for a long time. And I will remember Julianne Moore the next time I see her on screen not only for being a great actress, but also for being a nice person.