#44 la cuenta

It was our last day in Barcelona and my family and I wanted to have lunch in the city before heading for the airport. We ate at this small restaurant that was not too far from our Airbnb.

Usually, either my brother or I would call for the bill at the end of the meal when my family travelled overseas. But this time round, we decided to mix things up a little and my brother asked my mum to call for the bill.

He said, “Just say la cuenta.”

So when the waitress came, my mum said, “La cuenta.” And the lady smiled widely.

After some time, the lady came to our table with the bill and four shots of Baileys and exclaimed, “For you!” We happily drank the Baileys on the house and that concluded a very nice family trip in the Catalan capital. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant or what we ate at that restaurant but I remember how happy the waitress was and the free drinks.

Sometimes when I feel that service in Singapore is too transactional, impersonal and clinical, I will think of that waitress coming towards us with the Baileys shots. It is not all the fault of the service staff as well. Some customers in Singapore do behave in a very self-entitled manner and they like to take advantage of situations. After all, reciprocity is the basis of relationships.

Sometimes little effort can go a long way and sometimes little acts of generosity can make another person’s day. Don’t be afraid of trying and don’t be afraid of giving. After all, you play a huge role in determining what you want to see in your micro-environment.


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