Tag Archives: differences

It’s A Fact

 

Perfect I ain’t

And that’s just a fact

I do have my moments

And sometimes they lack.

I love with abandon

It’s wild as they say

But it is a comfort

To spend everyday.

I look for the joy

And temper the sad

I try to be good

I try not to be bad.

The choices I make

In the life that I live

Will come from the heart

In all that I give.

Perfect I ain’t

That is the fact

But life is for living

And I ain’t goin’ back!

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Would you like fries with that?

 

When I was at University I was in a Theatre Arts Program.  I was often told that studying drama was setting me up to be a great server. Those friends who were not in my program were convinced that my only skill would be asking customers at MacDonald’s if they wanted fries with that. Hunh!

Now I have the greatest respect for good servers, waitresses, waiters. Whatever the current label happens to be. A restaurant with mediocre food can be saved by great service. I like good food but I love great service.

I have received great service, good service and really, really bad service. The former will have me returning to the restaurant and recommending it. The latter will have me telling everybody I know and making very sure the information is passed on. I have been known to call the restaurant in question and respectfully voice my concerns. That of course means I can never return, no matter how good the food is. Sigh.

And of course good service is not only to be found in the culinary world. It is found on the phone, in the malls, even on the highway. You might say that good service is a direct result of good manners. I like both. I have reached an age where I expect both. Honey, I’ve done the good service routine, now I expect it in return.

After 30 years as a civilian with a police department, I have dealt with a lot people on the phone who were irate at their interactions with police officers. The fact that they broke the law and endangered others was immaterial. Those calls could sometimes be quite fun. I do have a twisted sense of humour.

More often than not it was simply a case of someone not understanding the system of law-enforcement. Their fears and concerns we’re at the root of their animosity. Taking the time to explain everything to them usually turned things around. And that was my job. I felt a great deal of satisfaction when I could allay someone’s fears.

It’s exactly the same in the world of service. I like to see people who take great pride in what they do and they do it well. I have seen some fabulous servers at McDonald’s. Just because someone else is turning their nose down at you should not diminish the pride you feel in doing a job well.

And then there are those who seem to take great pride in ruining my meal. I don’t want some obsequious dandy hovering about my table wringing their hands. I want a little pleasant banter or at least polite conversation. Keep your eye on my table in case my hand goes up. Don’t neglect me but don’t check every two minutes to find out of my meal is satisfactory. Especially when I have a mouthful of food. If you treat me well, I will tip you well. I’m that kind of patron.

I once went into a very high-end restaurant for lunch with a friend. We were out on auditions and feeling very full of ourselves. When we calculated how much money we had to pay for lunch we forgot the tip. (neither of us had a credit card) We just had enough to cover the bill. We were embarrassed so we snuck out. No, no! We left the money on the bill and then left. Unfortunately my friend realized he had left his book that he had just purchased on the table. Tail tucked between our legs we went back. Could we be anymore humiliated? Apparently we could. We explained the situation and hoped would get out without any fuss but the maître d’ summoned our waiter. We had to go through it all again. Hands wringing, eyes tearing, we apologized. Humbled, humiliated and deflated. We got his book back and we were told not to worry it was an honest mistake. Lesson learned.

Did I mention we were studying acting?

WiFi is Free!

 

Ben was paralyzed. He couldn’t move, couldn’t react. He watched in horror as his friend of 30 years was patted down, handcuffed and walked out of the bar in the company of four very official looking men. Four, there were five!

“You can say nothing about what you think you just heard.”

The warning was issued by a quiet, almost friendly voice. But as Ben raised his head to look at the speaker, a chill ran down his back. The man almost seemed to smile. He reached out his hand and picked up the thumb drive that Stan had dropped on the table. Snap, it was gone.

And with a slight tilt of his head, so was the fifth man. Ben inhaled deeply. He felt as if he had been holding his breath for far too long. He started to hear the regular sounds of the bar seeping back into his awareness. It felt as if time was reasserting itself and Ben was out of sorts. It had happened, here, with a room full of witness who had seen nothing. They didn’t understand. He had to tell them. But what Stan had said . . . Could it be true?

Ben reached for his laptop. A good reporter never went anywhere with out it. As he opened the screen and prepared to log on, Ben wondered . . . what if . . . He put his laptop away and reached for a pen and a pad of paper. Old school it is.

The day had stared routinely. Check correspondence, do a little cleaning, a little writing and then down to the pub for lunch. Saturday was Ben’s day to unwind, read the paper, watch a little sports on the big screen. Everyone knew it. So he was surprised when Stan burst into his reverie.

“Ben, Thank God you’re here! You have to help me! People need to be warned!” As he spoke, Stan threw himself into a chair across from Ben and dropped his head into his hands. He looked as if he hadn’t slept in days. He was obviously agitated and Ben got over being surprised enough to reach out to his friend.

“It’s okay, we’ll fix what ever is broken. Just try to calm down and tell me what’s wrong.”

The man that raised his head looked haunted. He reached out his hand and dropped a thumb drive on the table.

“He figured it out.” He whispered, “Then he got proof. He trusted me.”

Ben waited. He knew his friend. He knew he needed to tell his story in his time. But Ben felt a gentle unquiet seep into his mind. This was not one of Stan’s pranks, he was scared, terrified.

Stan slowly looked around the room. Only well known regulars were in attendance. He heaved a sigh.

“I don’t know how much time I have before they get here but you have to get the word out. The WiFi is free.”

Ben chuckled, “Well, yeah! That’s what we all wanted. Free WiFi for everyone!”

Stan shook his head. “Don’t you get it? Don’t you understand? They are listening!”

Ben lifted his glass of ale. “Okay, I’ll bite, who’s listening.”

“The computers.”

His glass stopped, mid air.   “What computers?”

Stan sat back in his chair.

“Have you ever wondered how Police can get to a bank robbery so quickly when the silent alarm isn’t triggered? Or how a traveller who jokes about a high-jacking can be so accurately pinpointed? How about those calls you get where no one speaks. It’s the WiFi. It’s everywhere. The computers are primed to react to certain word combinations in certain areas.”

Ben heard the words but it was what was not spoken that had him concerned. It wasn’t Big Brother watching, it was Big Computer listening!

Stan seemed to deflate. “I have a computer hacker friend who figured it out awhile back. He collected all his data, his proof. He wanted to take it to a reporter and I suggested you. He gave me a copy.”

Both men looked at the thumb drive. “Where’s your friend?” Asked Ben.

Stan never raised his head. “Dead.” He whispered.

An oppressive silence seemed to hang in the air. Patrons laughed and ate and drank. The big screen droned on about sports and the world continued to rotate. But something intangible had just happened and it was sobering.

Ben opened his mouth to ask a question when five large, official looking men appeared beside their table. Stan started to speak as he tried to stand up but a very forceful hand stopped him. Ben started to protest until a badge was place in front of his eyes. He tried to lean back to read it but it was snapped shut.

Ben was paralyzed. He couldn’t move, couldn’t react. He watched in horror as his friend of 30 years was patted down, handcuffed and walked out of the bar in the company of very official looking men.

The message was clear:

The WiFi is listening . . .

A Rainbow of Feelings

 

Blue is the colour

Of the sadness I feel

But then there is Gold

For the hope I appeal

 

Red is for anger

Which all of us know

But it can be tempered

Not left there to grow

 

Now Green is the colour

Of envy and greed

Feelings of evil

Of which we should heed

 

Orange is so tasty

Quite fruity at best

With feelings of bliss

Perhaps it’s a test

And last but not least

Is the colour of wealth

True Violet is rich

If only in health

 

The Rainbow of riches

Awash in the sky

The emotions we feel

They all do apply

 

 

 

A Cacophony of Scents

 

Perfume should enhance

The beauty within

But it is in conflict

With the smell of your skin

 

Lotions to smooth

And tonics to shape

Then make up and lipstick

You cannot escape

 

There’re scents all around

From your feet to your brow

Just wafting about

I cannot think now

 

A battle is waging

For dominant scent

My eyes they are watering

My nostrils resent

 

The smell of the forest

Wet nettles underfoot

Flowers and raindrops

Some fire and soot

 

These are the aromas

Soothing and true

Gentle their touch

So much better for you