Why…well, sometimes it’s hard to think of a weekly blog topic. Plus, why not have a little fun. A few weeks ago I volunteered to serve beer at a local festival to benefit an organization with which I am involved. This tiny microcosm showed me:

  1. Ask for what you want. If you don’t, the answer will always be no. You see, my friend and I were originally assigned to one beer tent yet we really wanted to volunteer at the one closest to the main stage. And when we asked the volunteer coordinators, we were told that tent was full. Yet, we went to that tent and as it turns out, they did need volunteers. So we spent the night slinging beer to the tunes of Too White Crew (for those in Chicago, you know!).
  1. First impressions matter. Unfortunately, one of our fellow volunteers did not interact with the rest of us and in fact never even smiled. Maybe she was having a bad day yet first impressions do matter and I was not a big fan.
  1. Be mindful of how your actions impact others. In such a small space, you had to walk slowly and carefully, being mindful of those around you. One small step back without looking behind you would most likely lead to a collision and some spilled beer…which is just a foul on so many levels.
  1. Get dirty. Of course, I made sure to wear comfortable, machine-washable clothes. And good thing since by the end I was soaked with beer and smelled like a brewery. Roll in the grass. Dance in the rain. A clean shower will wash away the mess yet nothing can diminish the memory of a fun experience.
  1. Treat others with respect. Towards the end of the evening, two women asked which beer was the lightest. They were not the first to ask that question yet they were the first to act with offense, rather than humor, when I responded that we were all volunteers and “the mean folks in charge” did not allow us to taste, so I had no idea. Then they asked for a “tasting.” This was a festival, with crowds lined up behind them, not a beer tasting. They then proceeded to debate, hold up the line, and give me further attitude. Really?!…I’m serving you beer at a street festival…order quickly, say thank you, and tip me for the organization. I resisted my urge to “accidentally” spill a beer on them and instead I just let them know that while they were deciding I was going to help the person in line behind them. I’m done ranting.

My, who knew that a beer tent could be such an inspirational place? Cheers!

“I got 99 problems and beer solves all of ‘em.” – Earl Dibbles Jr.