Life’s Simple Pleasures Are The Best – Bobby McFerrin
I look around the restaurant at the other couples who have the same expression on their face. They must be having the same experience as Kathie and I. It’s two-thousand and something a Thursday date night and things are not going as planned.
Being empty-nesters it is easy for Kathie and I to go on a date night at a moments notice and tonight was one of those nights. We both had a long day and putting together a meal did not sound appealing.
“How about we go to that steak place up the road for dinner tonight?” I hopefully suggest to Kathie.
“Sounds like a plan,” she replies. “Let me change out of my scrubs and we can go. Give me ten minutes”
We head to the local steak place, you know, one of those white oxford, black apron type places.
Within 20 minutes we are seated and are served with cocktails. Settling in and enjoying her company, I start to look around the room. I’m a people watcher and often I can get the vibe from people on what kind of mood they are in. As I glance around I can see some agitation. Odd. Nice restaurant, good atmosphere. I wonder what is going on?
And then came Lance.
“Hi! and welcome to our restaurant!” Lance says as he nestles into our booth to have a seat. “I will be giving you excellent service tonight. Let me tell you guys about our specials.”
Lance rattles on about the chef specials telling us, “I’ll be right back to take your order.”
I lean over to Kathie “Is Lance one of your children I don’t know about?”
“What are you talking about?” she says have confused and half amused. She knows where I’m going with this.
“The way he made himself at home with your on the curvy couch, I thought he must be related some way.” I continue.
She knows I’m not a fan of “let me sit down with you to take your order” technique. I’m not sure why, but in that type of establishment I expect a little more decorum than a roadhouse type restaurant.
After several minutes and having downed the first cocktail, Lance makes his way back to our booth. Plopping himself back down next to Kathie he says, “So what have we decided on folks?”
“Well Lance, I’m glad you asked,” ok I’m kind of a wise-ass and I was emulating his nonchalant speech pattern,”I’ll have a rib-eye medium-rare, with a sweet potato butter on the side and a Caesar salad, dressing on the side, no croutons.”
Kathie orders her dinner “I’ll have a filet mignon cooked rare, mushrooms and the house salad, no onions and the dressing on the side.”
I add, “We’ll start with the spinach and artichoke dip before the meal.”
Lance says “Ok, I’ve got it.” Now keep in mind he has not written any of this down. I know it’s not a complicated order but it looks like he is working five tables and from the looks on the other patrons face, I’m not expecting anything good out of this.
After taking our order, Lance appears to go incognito. Runners start bringing us our food. First out is the salad. Mine is a Caesar full of croutons and loaded with dressing. Kathie gets the house salad loaded with onions and doused in the house vinegarette.
I look at the runner, “I know you didn’t take the order but, we were expecting the spinach and artichoke dip out first.’
The poor young guy looks at us with exasperation on his face, “I didn’t see that on the ticket, I’ll take care of it.”
Rolling his eyes and heading to the order station. I can see him frantically pushing buttons on the glowing screen and waving his other arm around while talking to another runner who is shaking his head and looking around for Lance.
Our appetizer arrives just fine and about two minutes later our steaks hit the table. “Timings a little bit off,” I mention to the second runner of the night. She nods and offers to take the steak back to the kitchen saying, “Yeah, we’ve had that problem all night.”
We decide to keep the steaks having a combination of salad, appetizer and main meal all at the same time.
I look at the fellow at the table across from us as the food runner makes her way from our table. He gives me the chin up nod as if to say “Yeah buddy, I had the same thing happen over here.”
Kathie looks at me, “I not sure how all this got so messed up.”
I knew exactly what had happened and how it could be easily fixed. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. In philosophy and in business it is called Occam’s Razor. It is the problem-solving principle that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions.
It wasn’t their fancy order entry or their elaborate kitchen set up with screens or the expeditor barking out orders to the line chefs.
“I know how they can fix this,” I say.
“How” Kathie looks at me expecting a smart alec answer.
“All Lance needs is a pencil and a notepad to write down the orders.”
Often I’ve found that indeed “Life’s Simple Pleasures Are The Best.”
Live, Love, Matter