This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
I normally am in general agreement with the rock that is at the front of my local Stew Leonard's. You know, the one that says that rule number one is "the customer is always right," and that rule number two is, 'when the customer is wrong, re-read rule number one."
When I say "general agreement," I mean that I think the customer usually needs to be treated like he or she is right. But not always.
I was in Columbia, South Carolina, last weekend, and encountered a story that vividly illustrated how wrong a customer can be.
The story happened at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, where, reportedly, a couple in their mid-fifties had their dinner and, instead of leaving a tip for the waitress, instead left her a note written on a napkin. The note was riddled with grammatical errors and misspellings, but the meaning was unmistakeable. Here it is ... just as written:
Dear Renee, Thank you for your excelent service today – your a good waitress. Here’s your tip:
The womans place is in the home. You’re place is in the home. It even says so in the Bible. You may think that your contributing to your household by coming into work, but your not. While your in here ‘working’ this is the reason your husband must see another women on his way home from a long day at his work. Because you should be takeing care of the household duties. You may think what you are doing ‘working’ is right, it is really essentially a disgrace to his manhood and to the American family. So instead of coming to your ‘job’ and looking for hand out’s to feed your family, hows about going home and cleaning your house and cooking a hot meal for your husband and children, the way you’re husband and God intended, and (I swear to you, this was in the note) help make America great again. Praying for families and our nation.
Love, The Watley’s
First of all, let me be clear. If this is the arrangement that Mr. and Mrs. Watley have, that's okay with me. None of my business. I hope they are very happy together, and that Mrs. Watley is completely fulfilled by cooking and cleaning so that Mr. Watley won't be tempted to break his marital vows.
Beyond that ... give me a break.
I don't want to dwell on what I view as the total arrogance of this couple. Not that it matters, but it ends up the waitress, Renee, is single, has no children, and is working her way through school. But that really doesn't matter, because even if she were married with six children, it is her right to work or not. I guess if they didn't want to leave her a tip, that'd be fine ... but it is not their job to tell her how to live her life.
It really makes my blood boil.
What really makes America great is that Renee can live her own life and make her own decisions. She doesn't need help from the Watleys or anybody else.
But I do think that this is a moment when Renee's employer has the opportunity to step up ... and provide a lesson for customers like the Watleys and an example for other employers.
Maybe it is time for some sort of advertising campaign that says, essentially, that they are proud of all their employees. No matter what color they are, whether they are straight or gay, married or single, old or young ... that they are proud because these employees, no matter who they are, make Cracker Barrel a success through their hard work and commitment.
Maybe they ought to come right out to customers and say, "Here's a tip for you - they don't come any better than Renee." Or Tom. Or Mary. Or whoever.
That's a message that every company ought to send about their employees. It is a message that every company ought to communicate to their employees.
We are who we are because of you. Not in spite of you. And any customer who does not think that is flat out wrong.
That's a message worth communicating.
It is what is on my mind this morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: