Working lunch today, this gentleman walks in and sits down at the bar. I walk over to him and ask him for his drink order. When I bring the water back to him, I ask him if he has any questions.
He asks about the olive tapenade and then orders his lunch. As I go to walk away, he starts chatting with me and said, “I haven’t been here in a while.”
Me: Oh really, why not? (he did look familiar)
Guy: Well, that last time I was here, I was with a good friend of mine. He died a short time later. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to come back.
Me: (trying to process): Like he died right after the last time you came in here, or like a few weeks later?
Guy: Well, that night.
Me: Oh! (Wasn’t really expecting that answer) Had he been sick? Was it expected? (I mean, what do you say?)
Guy: No it was sudden. He went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
Me: Oh My Gosh! I’m so sorry!
Guy: I was a little nervous about coming back in. A lot of memories hit me when I walked in the door. We sat right at that table in the corner. I’m writing a book about him. You should read it. He was an amazing man. He really liked it here.
Now, I know this sounds really bad for me, but as this man is talking, and trust me when I say that there was a lot more to it, I had people sitting, people needing their checks, people needing drinks…I had a list running in my head of at least seven things I had to do, while he was talking about his friend that died after he had his last lunch here.
I mean, seriously! Why do I ALWAYS get these people?
So after he ate and paid his bill, I saw the name on his credit card and I realized why I recognized him, but just couldn’t put my finger on the right answer.
Me: So I know this is a silly question, but were you the Mayor or Police Chief ?
Me: Well, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and I hope you’ll be back soon. More importantly, thank you for your service. I can’t imagine it was the easiest job you’ve ever had.
Mr. Mayor: With a slight nod of his head and a smile on his face, he said, “No, but it was great!”
Me: Okay, then, take care and see you soon!
Because, really? What else is there to say???