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 facebook.com for the use of the photo.