Late night eateries are a petri dish of sociological entropy. Or so you’d think. Disintegration can be overcome with the art of “Turn-Around Service.” Velvet Taco proved it.
Three minutes before the kitchen closed, yet hungry after a chain of fulfilled responsibilities, you marched up to the counter. A friendly college student took George’s and your order. Ninety seconds later and three feet behind her, she was informed by the kitchen staff, “The Kitchen’s closed.” Because they’d already started cleaning up, the taco hombre behind a bank of stainless steal said, “Sorry man.”
It’s embarrassing to admit (especially by a guy who is supposed to be a motivational keynote speaker 24/7), but when that certain hunger threshold is surpassed, I turn into the Seventh Dwarf. The one with the attitude problem. Lacking any filter, I said – “No. You’re more ‘I want to go home’ than ‘sorry.’” Thirty seconds later, before Velvet Taco girl could reverse our credit card transaction, the cook said something completely undeserving of my harsh comment.
“Why don’t we get you something we haven’t put away yet? It is pulled pork and avocado. We also have a southwest chicken taco we could put together.
After being lashed with a grumpy stinger – after being treated roughly – all this following a long day on his feet – he had the presence of mind to manifest a 180 on the situation. It was now after 11 pm. This guy didn’t own the place. He was a prep cook at a late night diner, just a block from a collection of bars. He likely made minimum wage. It probably wasn’t his only job. The list of drunks and jerks he’s had to tolerate is probably longer than the menu. Yet he had the self-awareness to rise above his own, well within his rights, knee-jerk reaction to send me on my way.
We are humbled when faced with humility. We are educated by higher levels of consciousness. We sometimes need a reminder that any situation can be turned around by quickly finding a solution. Imaginary wounds to a fragile ego don’t need to be licked – they need to be ignored. The taco champ did just that.
My thank you’s for the turn around service never seemed to compensate for my not-so-motivational-speaker-like embarrassment of being rough on the guy. Maybe this will help.
If you ever need a place to eat out in Dallas, check out the Velvet Taco. They specialize in unforgettable, tasty, velvety tacos AND turn-around service.