Posted tagged ‘Chick-fil-A’

Life Naivety

January 14, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    January 14, 2018

                                       

This past week a fast food Mexican restaurant chain in Colorado Springs announced it was closing its five stores. There were no protests, no calls to reconsider. Someone or ones had made the unfortunate decision to open each of these establishments in areas where other Mexican restaurants like Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Fuzzy’s Tacos were already established. At least three of the five restaurants were either next to or across the street from Chick-Fil-A establishments. It made me wonder if part of their business plan was to get the overflow business from Chick-Fil-A, which is always crowded!

Each store was new construction. You would think that if one store wasn’t getting business it might tend to make the company think twice before building a second store, let alone four more stores!

It reminds me of a time several years ago when I was picking up my friend, Artie Powers, at the airport. As I walked with him down to baggage claim I noticed several women were giving me looks and smiling. I thought to myself, “I must be looking good today. I am a handsome dude!” My step got a little more strut to it. As we stood by the baggage claim carousel Artie suddenly leaned over and whispered to me, “Your barn door is open!”

“What?”

“Your fly’s open!”

My sense of what was reality had been trumped by my naivety! My infatuation with my mirage of an image had blinded me to the underlying truth.

Stupidity follows closely behind in the shadow of the naive.

Solomon had a lot to say about naive stupidity. He usually summarized the person’s reputation by just calling him/her  a “fool”!

“All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.” (Proverbs 13:16)

That verse gave new meaning to my walking through an airport unzipped for the world to see!

There’s a difference between wise speculation and foolish schemes! Clueless fools are nearsighted in their perspective and rarely think about what’s on the other side of the hill that they can’t clearly see.

In recent years I’ve adopted a couple of principles to live by. I always check my zipper before walking through airports…and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

The Premium of Hospitality

June 1, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    June 1, 2016

                                

Yesterday I had a “Free Breakfast Burrito” coupon for Chick-fil-A. It was expiring soon…and I hadn’t had breakfast yet…so I went to the location closest to us and ordered my free breakfast, plus a glass of water. The young lady, Sarah, who waited on me was as courteous and hospitable as possible. And not in a “put on” kind of way! She was genuinely interested in serving me and making my brief dining experience positive even though Chick-fil-A made exactly “zero cents” from my visit.

She even asked me if I wanted any kind of sauce packets, and would two be enough? Chick-fil-A is, without a doubt, at the top of the fast food establishments in the category of hospitality. Even in the midst of crowded, noisy establishments their employees seem to enjoy their labors. I’ve taken our five year old granddaughter, Reagan, to a different Chick-Fil-A and an employee named Josie was incredibly engaged in what Reagan had been doing that day.

Notice that I remember the first names of both employees!

On the other side of the spectrum are two different phone experiences that my wife Carol had yesterday where she felt devalued and idiotic. Whereas I left Chick-fil-A feeling like I mattered, she felt like she was simply a number in a couple of impersonal systems, a faceless person who didn’t know anything.

We’ve all had experiences that are at both ends of the hospitality rating line. It’s interesting that encounters that leave us muttering to ourselves stand out in our minds as clearly as the exceptional encounters.

Personally, I am drawn to hospitality and courtesy. Darla cuts my hair, not because she’s cheap, but because she takes care of me. I want my barber to be kind of like Floyd from Mayberry…relational, friendly, and not draw blood!

My optometrist, Dr. Bettner, takes time to see how things are going with me, tell me about his kids, and explain things that I am clueless about.

My massage therapist, Jackie Landers, makes me laugh even as she is inflicting pain on my body. I joke with her about the fact that I’m sure she sharpens her elbows before I come in. She is a 5 foot tall bundle of giggling energy. She hugs me when I arrive and hugs me when I leave.

Common themes in all of those people are a warm relationship and extraordinary hospitality.

In recent months I’ve been able to visit a few different churches of various flavors. Whereas preaching/teaching and the worship music becomes what gets focused on by those who are connected to those congregations, the hospitality of the people who greet you and the heart-felt interest of those sitting close to you AT THE END of the service are what impresses…or depresses…me.

After the benediction it is noticeable how many people rush for the doors, because their duty or worship experience has been fulfilled. The churches where people who have greeted you during the earlier “bulletin-mandated” greeting time, but then continue the conversation after the benediction…those are the experiences that stand out.

That hospitality was a significant focus of the first churches. The deacons in the first church in Jerusalem served the Grecian Jewish widows (Acts 6). The church had a reputation for extraordinary caring and service. They reflected Jesus, who was genuinely interested in all people, especially the ones who were devalued by the culture.

Back to Sarah! I’ve got a yearning to go back to Chick-fil-A tomorrow, and even spend some of my money!

Lessons I’ve Learned From a Week of Substitute Teaching

April 30, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                             APRIL 30, 2016

             

It is April 30! That means there are a lot of school teachers who have reached the teaching equivalent of the Boston Marathon’s “Heartbreak Hill”, a torturous climb at of about a half-mile between miles 20 and 21 of the race. A lot of teachers are “looking at the hill” right now and wondering if they can make it.

Thus, the number of calls to substitute teach have increased substantially! This week I spent two days with first graders, one day in junior high physical education, and one day in a high school strength and conditioning class. I could write a book…or at least a blog…on what I’ve learned, good and bad. Here’s a few:

1) First grade girls think having man for a substitute is like having one of the Disney characters visit the class. Although I resembled Goofy, they thought it was awesome!

2) When you play dodgeball with a class of 7th and 8th graders you become the target! I visited my optometrist after school to get my glasses readjusted as a result of getting hit…several times!

3) Being the substitute teacher in a strength and conditioning class is the equivalent of being a lame-duck elected official. They know your time is short so they just wait you out. (Personal note: Never ever ever sub for this class again! Lame!)

4) In junior high physical education the boy who says he can’t participate because of an injury…is the student to keep your eye on! Who brings suckers to PE class to pass out to those playing dodgeball?

5) In first grade there are “helpers” who will always willingly come to your rescue. You just have to keep an eye on two helpers who are both pushing on one another in order to be the first one to come to your rescue.

6) Being educated in the 60’s and 70’s means that there will always be concepts and terms used in today’s classroom that you will be totally clueless about!

7) First grade PE is the classroom teacher’s best friend!

8) Strength and conditioning class is a microcosm of today’s work force. There are those who will do as much as they can…and there are those who will do as little as possible…and those who will look busy when the boss looks their way.

9) First grade girls already have their eyes on who “the boys” are! They are already in pre-relationship mode! On the other hand, the boys are totally clueless. They are willing to show interest in the girls, but only after the soccer ball has become totally deflated and there is nothing else to do.

10) Dismissal at the end of a first grade day begins with a high five from the teacher as each student is leaving the classroom.

11) Each junior high PE class has at least one student who took a double dose of “obnoxious medicine” that morning.

12) I eat healthier when I substitute teach. Instead of being coerced by my granddaughter to go out to lunch at Chick-fil-a, I sit in my classroom eating raw vegetables.

13) At the end of the day first grade students are almost sad to leave you, junior high students will willingly trample over you if you don’t move, and high school students are focused on their cell phones as they walk obliviously towards the chaotic parking lot.

14) BUT when the substitute teacher leaves at the end of the day…he has no papers to take home to grade! Awesome!

 

Driving Miss Reagan

May 13, 2014

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          May 13, 2014

 

                                         “Driving Miss Reagan”

 

It started as soon as I entered the house through her front door.

“Granddad, I’m having waffles for breakfast.” (I won’t pepper my writing with her pronunciation, but breakfast comes from her lips sounding like “bweckfust.”)

I had volunteered for this chauffeuring duty, filling in for Miss Reagan’s dad, also my son-in-law, who was working out of town for a few days. Driving my three year old granddaughter around for a few minutes each morning sounded great.

For a three year old, Reagan can talk more than a stumping politician. Her “l’s” and “r’s” still sound like “w’s”. Last week when I showed her a scratch on my arm she asked, “Did it bweed?”

Without her older brother to share chat time with she is all out…constant…dizzying chatter!

“Granddad, would you cawwy my waffle…and be very careful, because if the wind gets it I will not be happy!”

     “Yes ma’am!”

      The twelve minute car ride to her other grandmother’s house has more topics of conversation than Time magazine has articles each issue.

“Granddad, do you like fire twucks?” 

      “Sure…it’s good to have a fire truck when there is a fire that is burning.”

      “I was in a fire when we stayed at a hotel.”

       “Oh…really!”

      “It was scawy!”

       “I can imagine!”

       “I wike wooking out windows. Do you wike wooking out windows?”

       “Yes. Windows are good.”

       “Does Grammy like windows?”

       “I suppose. We haven’t really had much conversation about it.”

      From behind my driver’s seat I can hear her taking a long sip of apple juice from her sippy cup, ending with a faint “ahhh” sound of satisfaction.

“Granddad, there’s a Chick-fil-A!”

      “Yes, there it is! Maybe we’ll go there for dinner this week. I think I’ll get a chicken salad.”

      “Noooooo….not chicken sawad! You’re siwwy, Granddad!”

      “Why is chicken salad silly?”

      “You have to get chicken strwips!”

      “Is that what you get?”
“Yes, with honey barbecue sauce and waffle fwies!”

      “Oh…okay!”

      “Do you like to dweam, Granddad?”

      “Sure…I guess I do. You mean when I’m sweeping…I mean, sleeping?”
“Yes, I dweam about Puggles and wearing new shoes and cotton candy.”

      “Oh…that’s nice. Are all those in the same dream?”

      “Noooooo…….Granddad, don’t be siwwy!”

      Being silly is a necessary element of a grandfather’s conversation with his three year old backseat passenger. The journey ends and Miss Reagan dances an original step in front of me to her “Nana” Hodges’ house.

I ring the doorbell and she bangs on the door. Nana greets her and Reagan is ready for the next conversation.

Granddad gets back in the car and leaves younger than I was fifteen minutes before!