July 27, 2012
I awoke early and a bit anxious. I knew that this was the day that the Bulletin article was to be published. Thoughts washed through my brain as I somehow anticipated the worst. I had felt so comfortable with the young lady who was writing it that I opened up to her more than I do most media and since I have been burned in the past, I guess that I worried of what kind of spin might be taken. Or if I had said "I" to many times ( I know that it is not just me, but would the article lead a reader to think that I felt otherwise). I do realize that Jake's is very popular in the area but the reason for that lies in so many places and with so many people. From employees to customers, my mind rang of names of people who help make Jake's what it is.
I could not sleep so I got up early, showered, and drove down to work. Ordering up some breakfast, I sat at the counter to eat it and to read for myself. The first thing I saw was our picture and that Judy looked real well in it so that was my first concern put to the side. I smiled inside as I read the kind words that were laid out in front of me. I folded up the article and went off to my office to put it to the side.
I figured that we might get a bit busy from it and told the crew to prepare but the day actually started off a bit slow. At 9, when the bulk of the crew is ready to go, we were only partially full. Dark thoughts rang out in my mind as I imagined someone reading the article and thinking that we were doing well so we really did not need to be supported. Funny how those thoughts work.
Then, the doors opened up and the crowds started to build to their usual Sunday crescendo. I bobbed around, pouring coffee, putting out fires, busing, delivering, and organizing. The day flew by with it's busyness and it was soon time for lunch. The kitchen was still quite full, so I grabbed a cheese sandwich to keep my sugar in it's proper place.
I had heard so many positive remarks regarding the article that when the first negative came in, it kind of broadsided me a bit. Actually, it was not the first negative but I took in the source for the first. The first had come from one of the daily coffee drinkers on the counter. He is always one who spins the negative in most things so when he told me that the article was to long and that he had put it down after only reading a few paragraphs because it was so boring it didn't bother me....I actually laughed inside knowing the source.
But, I was giving the cashier a break and taking in some money from a family who were just leaving. "Do those hats expand?", she said. I thought she was interested in purchasing one of our hats so I took one off to show her how they did. "Good, because you are going to need a new one after all that lady said about you in the paper!". I stopped and looked at her for a second but could not read the body language at all. She did not smile nor frown. She paid and turned away and left, her poker face still in place.
The next person in line must have read what was on my mind as they stated, "Well, I loved what they wrote. You and Judy are very worthy of what was said. Keep up the good work!". I thanked him for his kind words and directed my mind where it needed to be....on my job.
Before I knew it, it was time to close and we retired back to the house and sat on the porch reflecting on all of the kind words that had been said during the day. I told Judy of the two dissenting voices and she stated that you cannot please them all.
Now normally, after the afternoon clean up, I go back down to the diner, fix myself some supper, and close up for the evening. But tonight, the hoods were being done. I drove down and found that they were still hours away so I drove down the hill to the newest addition to the neighborhood, Baldies. I parked and walked inside.
I was greeted at the door by a young lady who asked me if I was eating in or taking out. When I said take out, she directed me to another young lady who was wrapping silverware. "She will take your order.".
I sat across from the young girl and said "I hope you don't mind me sitting here while I decide what I want.". "I don't mind at all as long as your nice!" came the smiling reply. We talked of their new opening and she shared with me that they were now open for breakfast when one of our mutual customers came over. "Checking out the competition?" I smiled. "Actually, I closed at 3, they are doing my hoods so I cannot get into the kitchen, and I got a bit hungry. Brian does a good job so I thought it a good stop for a bite on the way home.". We laughed and talked and they soon walked out the door.
I looked over at a smiling waitress who was continuing to wrap. "You own Jake's?", she asked. "Yes", I said rather sheepishly. " I have heard so many good things about it.", she said, "My boyfriend really likes it there.".
I thanked her and we got my order in. She said that I was right behind a rather large group and I informed her that would be no problem and that I knew well what that feeling was like. She smiled and said that it was so good to have someone who understood a kitchen.
Her and her fellow employees kept talking back and forth on who had the door. They would attempt to greet everyone who came through. I thought it was a good touch....especially since they were just opening.
With my order up, the young lady asked the bartender if she would watch the door. "No" came the answer. The bartender then turned to me and said, "He can probably watch it for you.". I knew she was joking but I said, "I got your back!".
The bartender was busy with a drink and I saw a young couple walking towards the door. I jumped up, held open the door and boldly stated, "Welcome to Baldies, where you can 'Taste the Love'." A couple of shocked faces looked at me and I wondered if I had played up the part to big. I took them in and introduced them to the bartender. "She will be happy to take your order.", I explained as I retook my seat.
My order came out and I told the young lady what I had just done. She laughed and said, "You need to tell them about your place now.". "No, this is all about you guys down here", I explained and then turned to the bartender and said, "I told you that I had your back".
As I left, the young couple had changed their minds and we met at the door again. The young man had a camera that was very similar to one of Judy's so I struck up a conversation with them regarding it. I found out that he was only 15 and that he was taking senior pictures of the girl with him. I encouraged him to strike out after his dream especially if that was his passion. I told him of one of our employees who I am always encouraging to do what he can to make learn as much as he can to hopefully turn his passion into a business. I said, "I own a restaurant up the road". "We know!", came the knowing smile. Now I understood their shock when I greeted them at the door.
I went home and sat at the table eating my bbq sandwich and sharing my experience with Judy. Then I went upstairs and got on the computer. I realized that their were probably many friends and relatives that could not get access to the article in the paper and would want to read it so I got on the Bulletin site, downloaded the article, placed it in my blog, and then shared it on facebook. Minutes after placing it on my page, the remarks came in from friends who were out of town and not able to see the paper.
I rested and watched a show on TV while I waited for the call from the hood guys. I fell asleep on the couch for a brief time before the call came in around 11PM. I drug myself out to the car, down to the diner, and secured it for the night.
Arriving back home, I crawled into bed to get a few hours rest before starting out all over again. My mind now at ease over things, I slept well.....a needed deep sleep.