I’m learning that belief is a powerful thing – that can cause great hope – as well as great stupidity. I know y’all are gearing up for a post on religion. But it's not. I hate to disappoint you, but what I have to say is about belief, flexibility, and meal time debate.
I was in one of those gas stations that has a Dunkin Donuts drive through. I was in the store, in line for coffee behind a pleasant-looking gentleman. The cashier was at the drive through window, attempting to assist a customer. The microphone was pretty powerful, because everyone in the store could hear the following conversation:
Drive-Through Woman: I’d like a Bow Tie Donut Please.
Cashier: I’m sorry. We don’t have Bow Ties.
DTW: What? No Bow Ties?
C: I’m sorry.
DTW, BTW, refused to believe there were no bow ties anywhere in the shop, so she decided to question further – perhaps to prove that through sheer will, a Bow Tie would magically emanate from the oven.
DTW: Are you just out of Bow Ties?
C: No, we don’t make them here.
DTW: What, are you kidding?
C: No, I’m sorry. No Bow Ties
DTW: But have you ever made them here?
C: No, never.
By this time, it’s important to note that the man in front of me muttered, “Hoo-Bouy!” I laughed and said that this lady might need to get over it. Everyone started laughing quite loudly when the woman said:
DTW: How could you not have Bow Ties?
C: I’m sorry ma’am. No Bow Ties. Can I get you something else?
I think she felt that since she a) wanted a Bow Tie, and b) believed with all her heart that a Bow Tie should be sold to her at that exact transaction, she should indeed be able to purchase one there… She settled for a coffee roll.
In the next instance of belief vs. inventory, I appreciate the way the manager handled the situation.
Last night during dinner, the group of senior citizens at the table next to Dave and me was incredulous that the restaurant could have run out of anything. Server Alex, already flustered and apologetic about my dirty coffee cup (I wasn't mean about it - I just needed a clean one), was not prepared for the barrage of questions concerning the lack of lettuce, salads, or bread bowls available at the restaurant. He ran for his manager.
Manager: How can I help you?
Senior Citizen Spokesperson: How could you have run out of lettuce and bread bowls?
(NOTE: I appreciate the fact that in a small town like I live in, honesty is very nearly always the best policy… even though she probably gave the SC's way too much information.)
M: Well, we get our lettuce delivered twice a week – Mondays and Fridays… So just this afternoon, we ran out of lettuce and won’t get any more until tomorrow. It’s a funny thing. Sometimes you just don’t know how much you’ll need… and because the weather is getting warmer, more people are eating salads… so we ran out… But we’ll get more tomorrow.
SCS: What about the bread bowls? How could you run out of bread bowls?
M: (again – note the honesty in this unruffled manager, who knew that – regardless of will or belief, neither lettuce nor bread bowls would be available for these customers that night) Well, as you may or may not know, we bake all the bread bowls for the hospital cafeteria downtown. We never know how many they’ll need, but when they come in, we provide them. Today, they unexpectedly needed seventeen of ‘em, so that pretty much wiped us out.
SC: Do you know I’ve been coming here for thirty years? And never in that time have you run out of lettuce or bread bowls?!!!
M: I’m very sorry – but we won’t get our delivery until tomorrow.
SC: Well I won’t be here tomorrow – In fact, I may never come back…
The manager, seemingly unaffected, acknowledged the inconvenience and walked away. Again, belief (or disbelief… or questioning… or threatening) could not produce the desired result.
So. It seems belief is only good if it’s partnered with flexibility… Which brings to mind a sign that once hung over a friend’s desk at work: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”
Maybe today's blog says something about religion after all.