The Chicken Man

BBQ image

I called over to the barbecue restaurant we always pick food up from on Friday nights.  It is a high-end barbecue restaurant, has the best fried chicken ever.  They serve it with a honey-mustard dipping sauce which is scrumptious.  The boys get the hamburgers, or the Alaskan salmon and my husband gets the ribs.  I can’t stand ribs, because they are basically intercostal muscles which just entirely grosses me out.  But my husband loves the things.

Anyway, I call the restaurant and talk to the take-out guy.  I give him my husband’s order and the boys’ order.  I then give him my order for the fried chicken and this is how the conversation goes down:

Me:  Can I please have an order of the fried chicken?

Take-out guy:  Of course!

Me:  Can you make sure they don’t give me two wings this time, because last time they gave me two wings and I really don’t like wings.  I tolerate wings, but if I had my choice I’d rather not have them.

Take-out Guy:  Oh, I’m sorry that you got two wings.  I’m not a wing man either. Hey listen, I know the Chicken Man, and I’ll talk to him.

Me (astounded):  You know the Chicken Man?

Take-out Guy:  Yeah, I know the Chicken Man.  I’ll talk to him and make sure he doesn’t give you two wings, or actually if you don’t like wings, no wings at all.  How’s that sound?

Me:  Gosh!  That’s great.  Please tell the Chicken Man – thanks from me!

I drive to the restaurant, puttering along, wondering why this whole thing with the Chicken Man, and the fact that there is a man specifically designated for doling out chicken, makes me so happy.  Or is it because someone went out of their way to make my day just a little better?  Or is it a bit of both?

After having parked, I bounced into the restaurant and went up to the take-out counter.  The Take-Out Guy was waiting and had my order all packed up and ready go.  I thanked him and asked him to thank the Chicken Man.

Take-out Guy:  Would you like to meet the Chicken Man?

Me:  Can I?   Can I really meet the Chicken Man?

Take-out Guy:  Sure!  You can meet the Chicken Man.

The Take-out Guy went back to the kitchen and returned shortly afterwards with a young man.  He smiled a most glorious smile and said “Hi, I am the Chicken Man.”  I reached out my hand and shook his hand.  He had a firm, decisive handshake.  I wasn’t surprised.  I figured the Chicken Man would have a strong, self-assured handshake.

Me:  It is so nice to meet you.  And thank-you for not giving me wings.

Chicken Man:  My pleasure.  No one has ever asked to meet me.  Most people don’t know I exist.

Me:  How is that possible, although I must admit I didn’t know you existed until this evening?  But I am fascinated by this whole encounter, learning that there is a Chicken Man.  A man whose job is to pass out the chicken.  I had no idea.

Take-out Guy:  Very few people know of the Chicken Man, but he is a good guy to know.

Me:  Well, thanks to both of you.  I think I will write a blog post about this! Have a lovely evening.

I waved, they waved back.  We were all smiling.  It was a good evening – and no wings.

I have spent the last 24 hours thinking about this experience with the Take-out Guy and the Chicken Man.  Why was it such a good experience? And here is what I have come up with.  The fact that the Take-out Guy would talk to the Chicken Man, and the Chicken Man was happy to make my order just the way I wanted it, and because I appreciated the importance of his job that in turn made the Chicken Man happy.  This led me to the realization there are so many of us who work behind the scenes, making sure we do the best we can to ensure others are happy, well-taken care of and satisfied and we never receive the slightest bit of recognition or thanks at all.  So, maybe we should take the time to recognize the people who really are important, the people behind the scenes.  The people who are never recognized or appreciated, but really do the best they can, silently.  If we put more effort into thanking the people behind the scenes and less effort into finding fault and complaining, we might all be happier.

Thanks to for the use of the photo.

59 replies »

  1. I enjoyed this as it is so true. It is also wonderful to make that connection with people when you love a place. It brings your restaurant to life now… it is no longer just a good place to find bbq chicken but it has a heart and soul.

    • Absolutely, I have a whole new devotion to the restaurant because of these connections I have made. I am going to make a concerted effort to do that more at establishments I frequent!!!

    • Perhaps – I was wondering, deep in the recesses of my mind I remember a song, but I can’t remember if it is the Chicken Man, the Muffin Man or some other man. Maybe they are brothers!?

  2. This was a delight to read. Always take pleasure in the little things in life, be it meeting the Chicken Man or any other serendipitous happening. Too many people just rip through their days without noticing anything around them, and I’m pleased to see I’m not the only one who isn’t glued to a phone.

    • I know – it is so sad how everyone just walks with their heads down and the whole world just passes them by. I love that word serendipitous – such a great word. Thanks for reading my little ramblings!!!!!!!

    • Thank-you so much for taking the time to read – I know you are quite busy at your house. I was actually going to take a copy of this post over to the restaurant and give it to the Chicken Man and the Take-out Guy, just to let them know I had followed through.

  3. Shaking the Chicken Man’s hand and thanking him really made his day. I smiled when I read this. You make a good point about people doing their jobs behind the scenes. Sometimes we should remember to send them a thank you. 🙂 <3

    • I agree. I wa thinking how back when I was a kid, we had a butcher and a baker and we knew everyone at the local shops – we had a connection with all of them, and it seemed as if we were all working together to help one another. Now, with all the big stores and franchises, it is really hard to get that connection, but I think it can be done.

  4. Yeah as a guy who used to work in the industry I know the feeling of being ignored. It’s hard work to make sure everyone is happy. I am glad you got to meet you chicken man. I wish more people would appreciate those behind the scene workers more like you do 🙂

  5. LOVE this! What a great experience and I can just tell The Chicken Man was so pleased to be introduced to you. Good reminder for all of us about the importance of acknowledging each other!! Well done! Cher xo

    • Thank-you – there is an addendum to this story. I took a copy of the post and gave it to the Chicken Man and the Take-out Guy and they were so excited. And I was so excited because they were. They couldn’t believe I actually went home and wrote about them. It was so incredibly cool!!!

      • Now that is what it’s all about. The impact we have on each other is like a ripple effect in a pond….Throw a tiny pebble into the water, and it goes far beyond our line of vision. You have had an impact on these two dear souls more than you know, I’m sure of it. I’m now following your awesome blog, and I can’t wait to read more! Cher xo

      • Yay!!!!!! – I have been following you for a while, love that you write about Chicago. Once that city sinks into your system, there is always a place in your heart for it.

      • Ah, bless you and yes, thank YOU soooo much for following my blog! Truly grateful for that my dear! I now know what you mean; when it gets into your system, it’s in there. What a lovely way you worded it! I love that! Thank you, I sure hope I am able to put into words and photos how I ‘feel’ about this city. I do try!! Cher xo

      • You are – because I miss the city even more. Have you been to Hyde Park – the Museum of Science and Industry? My brother and I would spend our Saturday afternoons in the museum (it was free of charge back then). Great place.

      • Thank you soooo much for that but I feel bad you miss the city more, though 🙁 Oh yes, I have been there several times. I haven’t written about it, though. Hhhmm, food for thought; I think I should write a post about it! Thank you! I bet you had such great fun there on Saturday afternoons. And the price was certainly right!! Love it!

      • Especially the Christmas Tree display from all the different nations – that was great. I hope you do a post on it. Can’t wait to see it!!!!!

    • The whole experience was just so heart-warming. Maybe it will spread, and the tides of selfishness and egocentric behavior will wash away. How great would that be!?

  6. I really enjoyed this post! I will look for the Chicken Man next time and thank him. I totally agree with you about the people behind the scene – often hard working but seldom awarded for it. I had to check out what you shared at Suzie’s Party and I am glad I did.

  7. Please tell the Chicken Man I read about him and would love to meet him and the nice guy who introduced you. I’ll bet they are both great guys.

    • I will – they are really great guys. I don’t know if I told you this, but I took a copy of the post to them – they were so excited (that I actually followed through and wrote the post) – it was put on the restaurants Facebook page. We go there quite often so I will pass on your comments!!! Thanks!!!

Leave a Reply