Chick-fil-a, A Love Story

When I walk into a Chick-fil-a, I feel like I’m with my people. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that my people would never step into a McDonald’s. Man, my people have been thrown out of McDonald’s before. I won’t tell you which of my people.

It’s just that when I walk into a Chick-fil-a I feel like I’m back with some of the folks who helped to shape me. I worked at the Chick-fil-a in Southlake Mall, just south of Atlanta, Georgia for a few years during high school and college. David ran the place. You were just as likely to see him emptying a trash can as you were to find him in his office. He showed me that no one at Chick-fil-a, even the really important people, were too important to take out the trash. Renae and his brother Brent were assistant managers. If they saw us standing around not doing anything, they would always yell, “If you got time to lean, you got time to clean.” I hated hearing that. But now, a couple of decades later, I’m sure glad that I did. Sam was there too. We spent a lot of time together busting up boxes and unloading trucks out back while singing old country music songs off key.

People told me that once I started working at Chick-fil-a I would get sick of the food and not want to eat it anymore.

They were wrong.

But now that I’m older I’ve had to cut back on the number of chicken sandwiches I eat. In my diet, waffle fries have been replaced with organic, free range unicorn fur. But last week I was on vacation so I put the unicorn fur to the side and took my family to the Chick-fil-a in Panama City Beach, Florida. As soon as I walked into that store, I knew that I was with my people. As crazy as it sounds, I looked behind the counter for David, Renae, Brent and Sam.

They weren’t there.

But in a way, they were.

The guy who took my order was wearing a tie. That meant that he’s pretty important on the Chick-fil-a chain of command. But he wasn’t too important to stop what he was doing, take my order and tell me, “Go Dawgs” when he saw my Georgia hat. I learned that he was from Henry County, just below the Chick-fil-a where I worked and just above the place where I live now. I asked him why he moved out of Henry County.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

“I had to get away from the traffic.”

He made a good move.

There was another lady behind the counter. She too was wearing important clothing. But she was working on filling up cups with sweet tea like her life depended on it. I’m sure that whatever managerial training she had in the past didn’t focus too much on the proper way to fill a cup with ice and tea. But you wouldn’t know it from watching her. She had obviously learned the lesson well that I had learned from David all of those years ago. No one is too important for the job that needs to be done.

While I was eating, I noticed another worker. This girl was wearing the standard issue uniform and she was sweeping nugget crumbs out from under the booth behind us and piling it up next to her. I’ll bet ten people walked through that pile and spread it back out all over the floor. She never said a word. She just swept it back up each time. One day she’ll probably run a Chick-fil-a of her own and get to wear important people clothes. But she’ll still sweep the floor.

Eventually, we walked out of that Chick-fil-a and back into the rest of our vacation.  A few days later, my in-laws stopped in and volunteered to watch the kids so that my wife and I could go out on a date. I don’t take these opportunities for granted so I did my research. I stopped at every beach side restaurant I could find and asked for a menu. Pretty much every one of them said something like this.

Chicken Flëur de la Crępe Scallops 

A one ounce portion of lightly grilled chicken fused with two sprinkles of scallops with a side of Flëur de la Crępe shipped in from a tiny fishing village in Germany.

$72.50

So for our date night, my wife and I went back to that Chick-fil-a in Panama City Beach, Florida.

It was all her idea.

I promise.

image credit

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Welcome to the Monday Morning Quarterback. We begin this week’s edition with a transcript of the speech that was given to Georgia Bulldog players just before their loss to the Florida Gators.

Alright, men. This is a big game for us. If we win, we’re virtually a lock for the SEC Championship Game and we’ll have a pretty good shot at making it to the playoffs. We’re riding high. Our offense has been running over people and our defense is finally starting to come together. Florida on the other hand has been playing some of their worst football since Jason Carter’s grandpa was the governor of Georgia.

This is our time!

Everything is lining up perfectly for us.

So let’s get out there and do what we do.

Linebackers, I want you to forget how to tackle. Freshmen running backs, stop playing like gladiators and start playing more like that man that highlights your receipt at Wal-Mart. I can assure you of this. If you do you’re part, we will do ours. We’ll forget to call time outs. We’ll do all we can to make you look ridiculous. 

So men, let’s get out there and do what Georgia Bulldogs do in big games.

Let’s look like a bunch of receipt checkers!

Say what you want about the Dogs but at least they listen to their coaches.

Auburn managed to win their big game against Ole Miss but it wasn’t pretty. It involved a last second fumble/maiming of Rebel receiver Laquon Treadwell.

If Auburn was a kid in your neighborhood, they’d be the kid with the rat tail down at the end of the street who you can’t decide if you should trust or not. When you have to leave town for a few days you ask him to feed your dog. When you get back, there’s blood all over the carpet, you find a bag of money buried in the backyard and the police are parked outside. But the dog got fed. That’s Auburn football. They usually somehow manage to get the job done but in the process, laws were broken, money was laundered and people got hurt. Just win baby.

In case you missed the Dallas Cowboys’ game on Sunday and you don’t have access to ESPN’s wall to wall coverage, here’s a quick summary of that and every other Dallas game.

1. The Cowboys started out strong.

2. Romo got hurt/was on the sidelines for being hurt/threw 16 interceptions in the second quarter.

3. The players yelled at each other.

4. The players threw stuff at each other.

5. The Cowboys lost.

Now I know what they mean by America’s Team.

Until next week, happy footballing!