Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How to lose your clientele

I'm a loyal person. I find what I like and I stick to it whether it's paper towels, tissue, canned nuts, or restaurants.

Guess which one is the subject of this post?

Sunday morning we were meeting our sons and their families at a hotel restaurant at 11 for brunch. We've eaten there several times before, both for breakfast and dinner, and our children frequent the place for both business and pleasure. We've always liked the food, the service, and the value.

Don't know about the sons, but there are two people who won't be back.

How to lose loyal clientele:

1. Serve cold coffee at 11 AM. The breakfast menus had been handed out. It's a given we're interested in breakfast. Is there no hot coffee?

2. Don't ask if we want cream. We'll just get up and help ourselves to what's left on the next table.

3. When asked for a lunch menu, only provide two for the 6 adults. Much scrambling ensued.

4. Wonderful, hot thick specialty french fries ordered. Malt vinegar asked for and received. Then why take it away when two of the entrees come with more fries? Easier to get up and retrieve than ask for.

5. Two people order quiche. It was cold. Now, it's their fault for not hauling over the manager at this point. I, myself, had a cheeseburger. I have no complaints except

6. when I asked for mayonnaise, I received my daughter-in-law's Caesar dressing. Which, of course, she had not received. I had already stuck my finger in it to taste it. Bless her heart, she figured that at 11 in the morning my finger had not been anywhere it shouldn't've been in public.

7. The bill was adjusted for the quiches without us having to ask, but then, I'll not be back.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Walking the streets

I burned up my second treadmill last week and so, until the replacement arrives, I have taken to the streets. I know I burned it up because it smelled electrical and when I wanted to stop, it didn't. I pulled its little plug very fast!

Now, I used to take to the streets all the time, to walk three miles after I had walked the children to school. Walking outside has its up side: nature and fresh air, and its down: bad weather and cars that seem to not see you. In general, I have walked on a treadmill at the gym or here at the house for at least 10 years.

So taking to the streets is not fun. Really, it's not. The streets aren't smooth around here and I've had to find a suitable route. I can't walk as fast as the treadmill will make me go (5 mph however briefly) and I carry my grandmother's cane lest an animal decide I look good enough to chomp on.

I was quite frustrated the first day because to get in the mileage took 8 minutes longer. So I have decided on a compromise: I'll do the time. I redesigned my route to include the town square twice. Of course this means early morning go-to-work traffic. And here is where I have my story.

I lacked crossing one town square street on the route to home when I saw the car. The driver, a she, had stopped and was blinking to turn right which would put us in each other's path. As I neared the intersection, she didn't turn, but stayed stopped. She was waiting on me! She must be a walker, I thought, as I smiled and waved myself across the street. She would know that to stop would interrupt my rhythm (what I have of it) and I'd be bouncing on the balls of my feet for her to move on!

So, anonymous driver, thank you!

PS: Just received an email that my new treadmill has been shipped! Whew! Due next Thursday!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Through the years, we've been able to make various home improvements. But whether it was closing in the back porch, adding attic access, reworking the kitchen, sanding the wood floors to their original hue, or, most recently, removing an old roof and putting on a metal one, there has always been a common thread: "She."

I'm home a great deal of the time (but never when the contractor wants me, it would seem), so I've been privy to conversations and discussions the workmen didn't think I was hearing. I've learned to tune out all but one word: "She", as in, "Is she home?" or "Where is she?"

Neither of these bode well for "she" or me. It's never to tell me that they're finishing early or it costs less. Never to say there was a free something included in the box they've just opened. No, hearing "she" is always trouble. As in...

The kitchen light fixture that was only half there. So I called the store where purchased. It was the last one. Discontinued. But, wait! They'd hunt and eventually another was found. Shipped for free at no charge. As well it should have been.

Or, the questions about my paint choice. (My walls, my choice.) Did I really want the electrical boxes to be seen when the pantry was open? (Yes, or the pantry would be so small as to be nonexistent.) What did I mean the kitchen cabinets were to go to the ceiling? (Just what I said. And yes, I know how to use a ladder.) Did I know the birds were rebuilding the nest the painters had already knocked down twice? (It's a 30 year old nest. Leave it be.)

The corollary to this is the call up the stairs to my study. It's not "Mrs. Sisk!" It's "Mrs. Si-isk." A singsong. Sort of like when the children would call. Not "Mother!" but "Mo-therrrr!"

Always trouble if it's sung.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Run vs. Ruin

In the springtime, a small town's interest turns to elections. Around here, that involves city council and school board. Some times there are no contested races and the sitting board will simply usher in the (usually) old group and save the taxpayers some money.

Some times, things are not so simple.

This year, we're in the midst of contesting. I heard through the grapevine (faster and about as accurate as the Internet) that one man was running for office, not necessarily because he wanted to, but because he believed that not doing so would allow those left on the ballot to be elected by default and therefore just run things. In his opinion: not for the better.

So I got to thinking about the link between RUN and RUIN. It's sort of the opposite of the old admonition, "There's no I in team." All too often in "ruin", it's the I doing the ruining. Our egos (who, me?) get in the way and we run something into ruin.

I don't know if it's original or not, but the only difference between RUN and RUIN is oftentimes I.

Labels: , , ,