Service With A Smile

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Ken earned five dollars for impressing us with his singing and his service!

Occasionally, you stumble upon someone who has that certain sparkle, that extra flash, the “it” factor.

Ken is one of those people.

You might miss the special quality if you concern yourself with the freshness of the post-wedding salad, the seasoning of the chicken, the snap of the green beans.  Talking with other invited guests at the table, you might not look up from the dinner to catch the enthusiastic grin and skip in your server’s step.  But, if you watch him work the table, if you follow him around the room as he serves the meal and clears the dishes, you will be impressed; you will be amazed.

It was my delight to take a moment to talk with Ken and discover that his is more than a talented waiter.

Many young people serve food because it is nothing more than a starting point in a life of greater, more meaningful employment.  But not Ken.  He doesn’t do this job out of necessity.  He serves at banquets, celebrations and social events because he loves people.  He gets jazzed by the work.  He lights up when he serves.  He enthusiastically ensures that the guests are well cared for.

I suspect that Ken won’t work for this catering company for very long.  My guess is that in a very short time he will OWN this company.  His work ethic, charming personality and firm handshake guarantee that he will use is degree to quickly rise to a place of leadership.  He will blaze a path to the top and in the process, he will make many, many people very happy.

My Coworkers, My Friends

Even though I’ve been gone for four years, the law firm invited me back to enjoy their annual Holiday lunch.  I keep tabs with the attorneys and staff but it was so wonderful to see everyone again and catch up on the activities of our lives.

As we enjoyed our lunch, we took the opportunity to reminisce, tell stories and laugh together.  The food was fantastic but the conversation was so much better.

At one point, Kelly asked me why I was smiling so much. I don’t think I expressed myself very well when I replied.  But I’ve thought about it and am able to articulate my feelings better now.  All those who folks in that room were an important part of my life’s journey.  I’ve known them all for eleven wonderful years.  I realized that these folks, these talented men and women, these hard-working, dedicated people, this loving family of former co-workers were a special gift back when I started and even to this day.  I am so thankful for them.  There are not very many places we work where the people and the job can be so enjoyable and so meaningful.

There was never a doubt that it was time for me to go from that place four years ago, but I am thankful that I am still a part of this office family.  They are a blessing to me, even after all these years.

God bless you, every one.

How to Sell A Car Without Really Trying

Goldie came into our lives in 2005.  Only five years old at the time, she had over 100,000 miles on her and a few rough spots around the edges but she served us well for the past six years.  In that time she took us from Canada and Georgia and many spots in between. That old van made more than one trip to upper New York!

She wasn’t perfect…In fact, there were more than a few times when we wished for working air conditioning and a tow was the only way we could get her to the mechanic for repairs.  Neighbors only complained a few times about the rumbling muffler and squeaking belt.

But there came a day when our own mechanic suggested another repair would just prolong the inevitable.  And so, like a horse with a broken leg, it was time to put her down.

After ten minutes time, a Craig’s List post went live at 4:54 pm, pronouncing our intent to part with our friend.  By 10:00 a.m. the next morning we watched her being loaded onto the flat-bed and driven away.

Certainly I’ll miss her but now I have a few hundred dollars in my pocket and a smile on my face.  Goodbye, Goldie.  Goodbye!

And Now, The News (As Seen on Facebook)

I’m done.  I’m over it.  Local news is neither local or news.

I see it in the morning when I’m preparing for work.  The reporter is standing in a bustling news room and turns to a huge flat-screen TV.  The camera zooms in as the reporter reads excerpts from a web page.

I COULD DO THAT!

I see it in the web new sites.  An article proclaiming to offer information gives us a paragraph of information, followed by 6 paragraphs of comments posted to the station’s Facebook page!

I COULD DO THAT!

Seriously, how hard is it to write something that is news-worthy?  How hard is it to call the team office and ask for a comment concerning an injury?  How hard is it to visit the crash scene after a fatal accident and view the intersection, write about speed limits, observe speeding cars running the stop?

Instead, they re-post opinion and blather.

Paul writes on my Facebook, “That’s right.”

Mary commented, “I agree with Paul.”

Joe noted, “You are both wrong and I feel strongly about this.”

Silvia pointed out, “This type of news reporting wouldn’t have happened if he would have had a job.  I blame the government.”

Joe noted again, “He has a job.  He writes a blog and does research at the University.”

Silvia responded, “Oh…that’s right.  I blame his mother.”

Get my point?  I COULD DO THAT!  I just wish they didn’t.

A Sad Goodbye

It is our practice to visit the Noblesville Farmers’ Market on any given Saturday morning, pick up some much needed items from Kroger and finish our weekly list with a stop at Marin Jay’s Butcher Shop.

Marty Jay’s is where we bought our burger, chicken, brats and chops.  This was the store that would still cut the fat from any slice of meat.  They hand-made the brats and hand-cut each steak.  And they would do it with a smile.

We never left the business without spending at least $40 but it was worth every penny.  Once home, we would fire up the grill and cook all our meat over one big fire.  For the rest of the week we would eat like kings. I gained 20 pounds because of Marty and his fantastic cuts of meat. 

Unfortunately, we discovered that Marty J’s closed its doors this week.  We pulled up to the entrance and found a “For Sale” sign in the window.  I knew for a long time that he was trying everything to keep his business up and running.  Marty wasn’t shy when it came to revealing his business woes. 

Looking back, I have to wonder if I’d been willing to spend $45 a week, would the shop still be open today?  Even worse, I’m not not sure where I will buy my beef, poultry and pork.  There isn’t any better in the entire county.

Thanks, Marty.  You will be missed.