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Feb 14

Yesterday, I met a friend for lunch, among several other diners. The subject of their meetings were unknown, but I speculate there were old friends catching up, business deals big and small being conducted or perhaps a solo diner wanting simply to eat.

My purpose was to catch up with a friend, however, his purpose was something else entirely. As we dined and chatted, our waiter came up and warmly greeted my friend with a generous handshake and smile. Moments later, a waitress came over to say hello to my friend. Then, a cook from the back came out and presented a pizza for us to try. “Free of charge. Please let me know what you think.” Soon after, another waitress came up to say hello to my friend.

He then told me about the horrendous life story of the hostess, wrapping that story up as our waiter came back to take away our plates. Before our waiter made his way to the kitchen, he told us his life story of being in and out of prison and addiction, how he was estranged from his grown daughter and about his wife on her death bed. My friend sat there and quietly listened. He gave no advice. He simply listened and mentioned a small empathetic response.

The other diners were wrapping up and I can’t help but think what they accomplished during their lunch. Maybe the deal was done. Maybe a new friendship was started. Maybe someone was now full. I won’t belittle their purpose, but I can’t help but think what my friend accomplished during his lunch. He touched the lives of no less than five different waiters, waitresses and a hostess. He simply treated them like human beings and asked them about their lives. Simple questions like, “Do you have kids? Are you married? Where are you from?”. It’s something any of us could do. He just chooses to do it.

Of anyone that day, he had the lunch that mattered.

One Response to “A Lunch that Mattered”

  1. christy Says:

    I just found your blog (and your company), and you’ve already struck a chord with me. Like your neighbors, Brains on Fire, it’s important for me to connect with my “tribe.” The fact that you saw what was happening with your friend at lunch calls you out as another “good person,” even though that wasn’t the point of your post.

    Thanks for straying from the usual corporate blog content to call attention to how we treat each other. Your friend is obviously an excellent example of making a difference every day, in the places where it’s easiest (and sometimes hardest) to influence.

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