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The behavior of the Late Late Show’s James Corden is a lesson for us all


Fred Duval | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 11/04/22

With the talk show host's behavior in the spotlight, it highlights a very important message to pass on to our children.

If you don’t know who James Corden is, he’s an English comedian, actor, and talk show host of The Late Late Show. He initially comes across as an affable, easy-going chap, but there’s been recent drama around a visit to a celeb-chic New York restaurant, Balthazar, involving alleged shouting and inappropriate behavior towards the servers.

Without going into the tedious “he said, she said” details, the incident led to Corden being banned, followed by apologies, then an unbanning, and then claims of lies … So basically a big, dramatic mess over some very privileged people allegedly behaving terribly.

Personally, I’m not a Corden fan. Nothing personal; he’s just not my cup of tea. But, I can’t bear to see serving staff treated badly by ill-mannered, demanding patrons and I think the situation provides parents with a perfect teaching opportunity.

Giving kids a great example

I live in Paris, France, where customer service isn’t top of the agenda. There’s a sense that you should feel lucky to be served at all. But I’m really big on manners and gratitude, and I think my behavior often affects my customer service experience.

As I’ve explained to my children, lots of servers are rushed off their feet, possibly working very long shifts, with little gratitude from their customers and maybe even their boss. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, especially if the clientele is particularly demanding or rude.

When a server comes up to take my order I smile at them, and look them in the eye. Trust me, it’s not always reciprocated, but at least I know I’ve done the right thing. I’ll try to explain clearly what I’d like, in a respectful tone. I also encourage my kids to say “please” and “thank you,” as most parents try to do.

Normally, if the server has been less than convivial, things seem to improve by the time they’ve taken our order. Now you might ask why I bother, especially as one of the points of going out to eat is to be served.

Well, I think that being served should be a humbling experience. We’re relying on others to give us what we would like, and even if we’re paying for it, it’s not something we automatically deserve. I see it as a two-way experience, for server and client to have mutual respect for each other in order to have a satisfying end result.

In Isaiah 53, Jesus is described as His father’s humble servant, giving His life for the sake of us all. Following His example, we should try to be humble servants, living a life of thoughtfulness, obedience to God, and a genuine love for others.

And this begins with how we treat each other. Whether it’s your family doctor, the garbage collector, or your local barista, we are called to offer kindness to everyone, no matter their position in society.

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