The Lesson of the Lime

During my break last week, I was having dinner with a friend at a place called the Harvest Moon Cafe in Rome, Georgia. My buddy ordered a Diet Coke and requested a lime to go with it. A couple of minutes later our waitress returned to inform us they were all out of limes.

No big deal . . . only it turned out to be a real big deal.

About five minutes after delivering the disappointing news, the waitress showed back up at our table and set three of the best looking lime slices I have ever seen right in front of my friend. Surprised, we questioned, “Thought you were all out of limes?” 

“We were,” she replied. “I decided to go next door and buy a few so you could have some with your Diet Coke.” 

Lime Time

“I decided.” Two of the most powerful words I have heard in a while.

A waitress made a 33 cent decision and I will be talking about it for the next decade.

Sadly, I see too many leaders who think they are in the profit business, rather than the people business. They look for reasons to say no, unwilling to pay attention to the needs of others.

The lesson of the lime is that it doesn’t take much to make a lasting impression. 

Be on the lookout today for an opportunity to go the extra mile and wow someone.

It might turn out to be a real big deal.



Can you think of a time when someone did something small that made a big impression on you?




Leave a comment

Layi Olatunji

8 years ago

Wow! This post really resonates with me. It’s the little things that make such a BIG difference! That’s customer service at it’s best! She made it clear to you that you were not a bother or an unpleasant distraction but the reason she came to work that day. I worked with Virgin Atlantic for three years (the best years of my working life so far!) and at a team building/customer service training we were taught the following: 1. Be there! 2. Make their day! 3. Have fun! The waitress did all three! Thanks so much Randy, for this post and I can’t stop smiling!

Coach Brown

8 years ago

Powerful but also so true. It is our nature to not invest in others if we do not have to do so, and in business the apparent loss of profit overrides the people we serve. That lime slice was a sacrifice that defines that business and its future impact on others.

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