I went into a store the other day. As I was about to check out, I spied an old ex fellow employee of mine at the old truck stop. I wasn't a friend but I always admired her and her husband. I got in her line just to say Hi. She was pleasant with all of her customers but when I arrived all of that seemed to change. Her delivery was pretty dead pan and she definitely was not impressed with me being there nor did she wish to be friendly. As I left, I told her that it was good to see her again and in that same monotone, she said, "Yea, you too". It was like a knife to my heart. As I walked out the door to my car, it brought back memories, like when I first took over the diner and I could not get people to realize that we were still open. I had purchased some rope lights that I was hanging around the facing of the building to direct peoples attention to it. I also bought a lighted blow up bear that I placed on the roof in the corner. I recall as I hung the lights a car driving down the highway and a voice yelling from it saying, "Give it up! You are going down!". I could not understand the hatred. Then much later in Craigs list a woman's vile rant against me. All these bad memories along with her reaction made my shoulders drop somewhat as I walked to my car.
I drove to Walmart and as I walked in, the morning coffee club was meeting over in McDonalds. They all smiled and waved and so I walked over and chatted with them. I was asked how I was doing and told how much I was missed. Another man told of being in the diner a couple of days back and how busy it was and how happy he was that we were doing OK. My spirits were immediately uplifted. It was exactly what I needed after my previous encounter.
My buddy, Frank tells me that one of my problems is that I want everyone to like me and that is just not going to happen. No matter what you do, no matter how you act, no matter what you say, someone will either take it wrong or see things differently. You just cannot please everyone.
So, I guess my New Years resolution is to try and not let those things bother me so much. To be kind to all and not to be bothered if that kindness is not reciprocated.
In that same light, I pulled into the bank yesterday. As I walked to the door, I watched a young woman helping her grandmother out of the car. I approached the door and waited for them, opening the doors for them as they came in. It was just an act of respect for women in general and for this elderly one in particular who seemed to have a vision problem. As I waited in line, I overheard the lady commenting on my act of kindness and how nice it was. As she left, she stopped and said, "I have been talking about you. You are a nice man.". "I am not that nice a man.", I returned. She looked me at me and said, "Well, that was a nice thing you did......Thank you.". With a smile, I returned, "You are welcome.". That woman had no idea how much her words warmed my heart. How beautiful this world could be if we all took those steps to help one another and encourage one another. I truly believe that they key there is to look away from self and notice the others around us. OK, end of preaching. My kids used to tell me that I preach to much.
On a lighter note, Friday is Elvis's birthday and we are going all out for Elvis. Elvis will be in the building talking and singing his old songs. There will be a special Elvis menu and, of course, the return of the Elvis Cinnamon Roll. We will have Elvis trivia on the tables and I hope to find some old Elvis Movies to play up on the TV. We hope to have fun and enjoy the day. So, if you are an Elvis fan, stop by on Friday and enjoy a "Hunka Hunka Burnin Love" sandwich or a "In the Ghetto" dinner. I am not heavily promoting this as I have no idea how it will be taken and how well the day will go but I can tell you one thing. We will have fun and that is half of this. To give our customers something different and our employees something to have fun with. I am hopeful that both will be accomplished.