Friday, February 15, 2008

Just another day

None of my days seem to be the same. For a man who always has enjoyed stability, that has been quite a challange for me at times. In the old Jake's, I pretty much knew what my day to day life would be like. Right down to not only what time breakfast or lunch was, but most times what it was also. I had cream of wheat for breakfast and a burger for lunch. I arrived at work at the same time and left at the same time. It was all so very predictable.

Fast forward to the new Jake's and that has all changed. I arrive at changed times depending on alot of variables and the same goes for my comings and goings and finally, my leaving for home. Because there is so much to be done, no day seems very long but some are more challanging than others.

Take today, for instance. I arrived around 9 or so and set up the back room for Judy's group that was to arrive around 10 since she was running late. Next came a little office work, working on the deposit, corporation minutes, budgeting, bill paying, reading mail, talking to groups who wanted to use the back room, checking out the latest revisions of the website, and working on our newest projects with the widows that live behind us.

Sometime around 11 or so, I grabbed some tools and started working on a project at the register that I have meant to do for quite some time and just do it. That was when my first real challange of the day came. I listened to a couple of ladies who were heading to the salad bar area talking about how they were going to try and find larger plates to fill up with. We learned early on in our "all you can eat" buffet that when we gave people the larger platters that they sometimes filled them as high as they could and often times left much on the plate. We also learned that if you gave them to go containers, that some of them would take advantage of that and fill them to the brim and take them home for another meal. I had to decide on either raising the rates and thus taxing most for the unfairness of some or setting limitations. I chose the latter. The buffet would continue to be all you can eat but the plates would be smaller and you could go back as many times as you wish. I also set the rule for no to go containers.

As I worked, I noticed one of the ladies coming back from the salad bar with a platter piled high with as much goodies as she could place on it. I walked back and quized the waitresses and no one had given her a platter. She had asked Judy and Judy had told her that she could go back as many times as she wanted but the smaller plates needed to be used. We figured out that the man at the table had probably swapped his food over on to one of their plates and given them his platter. I told them all that it was not worth the bother and we should just let it go.

A few minutes later, Judy came back to me and told me that they had gone over and gotten themselves to go containers and were filling them up with the items from the salad bar. They had also helped themselves to sacks to put them in. With a sigh, I knew that I needed to nip it in the bud and walked over to the table. In a quite calm voice, I explained to them the salad bar rules and told them that I would allow them to do it today but in the future they could not take the salad bar to go. The platter lady had already filled her container up and the younger one was beguinning to fill hers with all of her plates pilled quite high so high she needed two containers. The younger lady said that she understood and that she had just lost her appetite and had only gone to the salad bar one time. The man at the table, however, was quite aggitated. "How dare you come over here and challange us.", He stated. " I ordered my sandwich and couldnt eat it all so I got a to go container and if I can so can they. How dare you embarrass us this way!".

I could see that arguing with him would not go anywhere and with his voice getting louder and a full house of customers around me, I took what I felt to be the best route. I appolgized if I offended them and thanked them for coming in and retreated back to the kitchen wondering if I would have been better off just talking to them as they left.

A little later as I was talking with someone at the counter, I was told that Judy had just been chewed out by a customer. I quickly went to the cashier area to see if I could help. The man had seen Judy off to the side after paying for his meal and had yelled at her about how I had ruined their lunch and that they would never ever come back again. After yelling at her, Judy had calmly said sorry and that was their choice. This angered him even more and he began yelling that it was his daughters birthday and that we had just ruined it for her. Seeing the bags of food that they were carrying out, Judy calmy smiled and said "Have a good day, sir". He spun around and slammed out the door, ranting as he left. I hugged her and assured her that she had handled it right.

I then took Judy's car to the shop for a service and ran a couple of errands before returning and eating a late lunch with my sweetie and business partner. She then went off to order up shirts for the store while I finished up the corporate minutes and walked over to pick up her car. I hoped that they would give it a wash as them sometimes do but seeing that it was still quite dirty, I ran over to one of the neighborhood car washes to clean it up and surprise her with a sparkling clean car. After leaving the wash and with a very wet car, I stopped at a estate sale on the way back. I parked the car in the sun on the street hoping to have some of the wet dry off while I was inside. Upon leaving the sale, I watched in horror as a man with one of those dirt blowers with the big motor back packs was blowing dirt right down the street towards my newly cleaned car. All I could do was watch as the cloud of dust encompassed her white car and quickly change the bright white to a duller grey white. As I reached the car he was just getting by it. Shaking my head, I stated, "Buddy, I just washed that car.". What I got in return was a bright eyed toothless grin. A cigarette butt hung out of one side of the mouth burnt all the way up to the blackened end of the filter. Without saying a word, he had told me loudly, "Sorry, I am just doing what I was told to do.".

Arriving back at the shop, I grabbed a couple of cleaning towels and began wiping down the car that didnt look much better than when I had left. One of the dishwashers came out and was dumping the garbage. "Hey, Lyle", he stated, "It would be alot easier if you just took it through the car wash.". With a smile and a shrug, I returned, "I just did.". He stopped for a second and with a confused look continued on inside.

Tired, I had had enough for the day and told Judy that I thought it was time for me to leave. Now after a relaxing evening at home, I now am ready to retire for the night and then get up tomorrow and start it all over again.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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