I was taking my mom to lunch and got more than I bargained for – I got a renewed respect for the workers of the world.

We first pulled in to Whataburger because she really likes their fish sandwich. To her dismay, the location was temporarily closed for renovations. I then went to the collection of fast food apps on my phone to see what ‘deals’ I could find. We settled for the two for $6 chicken sandwiches at Jack-in-the-Box.

I ordered our meals via the app and drove to the location. I was greeted by a long line in the drive through and patiently waited my turn. Pulling up, the speaker announced in an apologetic and friendly tone, “Welcome to Jack-in-the-Box. Can you please bear with us about five minutes while we catch up on the orders.”

Five minutes in the drive through? Even before taking my order? I answered by saying I had a mobile order and he said, “Okay, I’m so sorry for the delay. We haven’t had a chance to check mobile orders yet.”

Had I not already paid via the app and had another truck behind me in line, I would likely have just drove to another place. Instead, my mother and I used the time to chat and she thanked me for taking her to lunch and mentioned that she rarely gets out much and welcomes it regardless if we are sitting in a drive through or at the doctor office with my brother.

While waiting, we reflected on what a good attitude the guy on the speaker had despite in an obvious time crunch and being stressed. He continued to display that same class and poise as we finally reached the window for our food.

I rarely tip at fast food places but was so impressed by his grace under pressure, I called him back as he turned away from the window. I pressed a $5 bill into his hand and told him, “I just wanted to let you know in these days where so many people choose to not work at all, you are working hard and doing so with a great attitude. Thank you.”

Then as if to further prove my point, he responded, “No. Thank you!” My mom and I drove away from the longest fast food experience I can remember, feeling it to be one of the happiest.