Saturday, January 27, 2007

Waffle House Wisdom

I like Waffle House, I really do. Eggs, grits, bacon, toast, waffles. What's not to like? Well, okay, they tend to be a little on the dirty it would be comparable to, on the durrrty scale, Paris Hilton. Sure, there are cleaner places to eat, the Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba type places (clean and good), but for a quick hit, Waffle House is a good place that could probably pass most health department standards.

Half of going to Waffle House is to eat, but the other half is to see who else is there and pick up a bit of worldly wisdom. Never, I mean never, in my history of eating in a Waffle House have I run in to any one that I know. I seriously can't recall a single occasion where I walked in and said, "Hey, there's _______." I don't know that many people, but you'd think that I would see someone at some point.

Sidenote: For those in the know, Chris and I live far enough apart such that there are a few Waffle Houses between us. We do not, therefore, frequent the same one. We have on occasion, met for breakfast, but driving past three Waffle Houses to get to the fourth doesn't make much sense to either one of us. Have I ever told you my idea for Cracker Barrel? Let's say that you're traveling, south on I-65 for instance, and you stop at the Cracker Barrel in Prattville for lunch. If there's a 45 -60 minute wait (which there always is at lunchtime at all Cracker Barrels every where), then I think you should have the option of asking the Prattville Cracker Barrel to call the Greenville Cracker Barrel and have your name added to their waiting list. You get back in your car, drive the 45 - 60 minutes from Prattville to Greenville, and when you arrive you are seated right away. It's a win/win/win for everyone. You don't lose travel time browsing through the John Deere Arts and Crafts store, Cracker Barrel keeps the customer (albeit at a different location) and I win for coming up with the idea. Win/Win/Win.

What was I talking about? Oh, yes, people at Waffle House. Leah, Jack and I went to Waffle House this morning for breakfast. We walk in and, of course, there's no one there that I know. THIS LOCATION IS LESS THAN A MILE FROM MY HOUSE! Anyway, we take our place at a booth next to the, surprisingly, crowded counter. There's a guy at the counter BEGGING for someone to ask him about himself. He even gives me a look like, ask me any question and I'll tell you all I know - and don't know - about the subject. I pass.

After about 10 minutes, he gets a bite from some older gentleman that was there by himself, no doubt there to enjoy a brisk Saturday morning's breakfast of coffee and waffles. Poor old man never saw it coming. I don't have the time or heart to cover every thing that the man at the counter said, but here's a rundown of the highlights:

He lived in Chelsea for 8 years and recently decided to move to "this side of town" because he didn't know anyone. I was confused if he meant that he didn't know any one in Chelsea, or if he knew EVERYONE in Chelsea and he had to move here to get out of Chelsea's blinding spotlight.

He runs his own company which, not surprisingly, has made him a fortune. He has "enough socked away that he could sit on his couch and do nothing for the rest of his life", if not for his go-getter attitude, which I'll discuss in more detail shortly.

When the older gentleman told him that his granddaughter was just accepted to Auburn, he responded that his daughter had just been awarded a soccer scholarship to Alabama. He, because he's worth a fortune, would have written her a check for the tuition to Auburn for her personal use AND THEN would have paid for her to go to Alabama. Of course he would be an Alabama fan.

Jack just realized that I'm on the computer, so I'll have to hurry. The best thing that he said, and the Waffle House Wisdom that I picked up for this trip was:

I let business walk away all the time because, and I've told my kids this, if you let people know that you need a job, then they'll walk all over you. If you act like you don't give a damn and couldn't care less about them or their work, well then you'll go places.

Let's all practice that theory today and then report back our findings.


Katie said...

Fascinating post Jam. I love your Cracker Barrel idea! Have you dropped it in the suggestion box? I think they have one.

I sat to a guy like that on a flight from B'ham to Las Vegas. I was seated alone, but Brian and Belinda could hear the whole conversation. Belinda said something very funny about it that I cannot write here on a family oriented blog.

Karly said...

IHOPS are dirty too and for that matter I think Jessica Alba is a little as well.

Did you eavesdropping uncover exactly what line of work this man was in?

Can't believe you posted on a weekend!

klhcain said...

Love the Cracker Barrel suggestion. Drop it in box.I like Waffle House, too. We have Huddle House (but they serve Pepsi, not Coke) and Chubbie's (has Coke but it is dirtier b/c HH is newer - so they remodeled). Waitress at Chubbie's mistook me for my sister when I was there with Mama - they love breakfast.

Jammy said...

I'm going to have to come up with a durty list.

He hyped it up like it was some big advertising outfit, but I think that he adds letters to the plastic Coke signs that hang on fences at high school football games. I'm sure you can make money at that, but it's not like he was Mr. Lucky Advertisting or anything.