I’m a creature of habit…I guess

In grad school a buddy and I would always go to the local watering hole after class on Tuesday nights.  I would order the same beer and chicken sandwich each week.  Over the course of a semester, the employees started to remember me and would know my order without me saying a word.  It was nice, a bit of camaraderie.

There was also a time when I would frequent a fine drinking establishment several times per week.  I became one of the ‘regulars’ and it wasn’t uncommon for my beer to be on the bar before I made it fully through the front door.   It was some time before I realized that although the Norm from Cheers concept can be fun, I wanted more than just the usual ‘crying in your beer’ antics that went on regularly at this place.  I haven’t been back in a few years.

The same grad school buddy and I have given up the tipsy Tuesday nights for professional workweek lunches.  You know, the “I have 42 minutes today because I have a meeting at 1pm” type of thing.  Lately, if we’ve been able to get together once a week, we’re doing well. We have an unwritten list of 5 or 6 places that we rotate through for lunch which means it’s usually well over a month before we go to the same place twice.  It’s amazing that at one of our eateries, no matter who is our server, they know our orders and are reluctant to even ’embarrass’ us by setting down a menu.  We’ve chalked it up to exceptional service.

This ‘exceptional service’ seems to follow me around and I’m not sure it’s all good.  I may stop into D&D closest to my office for a coffee twice a week.  I walk through the door and my medium black decaf is poured, on the counter waiting for me, and the staff has it rung up on the register just waiting for my $.  Creepy but again appreciated

Even less frequently, (maybe 3 times per month), I stop by the local bagel shop for an un-toasted blueberry.  The same thing happens.  No matter who is behind the counter, I don’t even get within 20 feet of the “Place Your Order Here” sign and I’m handed an un-toasted blueberry bagel in a bag.

Is this coincidence?  I doubt that I just happen to be a patron at places with exceptional service.  Is there something memorable about me or my orders?  I mean I’m pleasant when ordering, I don’t buy a $0.99 cent item with $100 bills, I’m patient if the server/staff is busy when it’s my turn to order, I’m not an over generous tipper that waitstaff take note to remember, I don’t do/wear/say anything (I don’t think) to stand out, my orders are not complicated, and I say please and thank you.   I have also been trying to take note off others, say at D&D,  receiving the same positive treatment…and nope, everyone else gets the “What can I get for you” routine.

There are times that I appreciate the advance acknowledgment of my order and then other times I so want to spice it up a bit and order cinnamon raisin instead just to prove (to myself) that I’m more that the ‘usual’.



About Jason

Always thinking....about something
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4 Responses to NORM!

  1. Angela says:

    Great topic!! I love being a regular. When I walk into Subway (or when I am even pulling into the parking lot), the staff are busy preparing my order. They know that during the week I get a salad, they know what I want on it. They know on the weekends I get a sandwich because I allow myself bread. They know that when I go there twice on Saturday that the first time is for breakfast and when I come back it will be for my lunch or dinner, but still something with bread. They are great! I don’t ever want them to leave. I don’t know what it is but I think it is exceptional service. I still wish they wouldn’t greet me (and everyone) as they walk in the door because to me that doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy it creeps me out, but they make up for it by having my food ready. I’m busy and I usually need quick/good service. I compliment them on being good at what they do and in turn, they have my stuff ready. Personally it doesn’t bother me if they think that I’m “usual” or even boring. I like to be a regular. Maybe for you, your cheery disposition or quick quip one day stuck with them and they remembered, “hey that guy is funny” he must be different….so now they remember you.

    • Jason says:


      Sounds like they should get you an apron! I could see a place remembering an order when you frequent Subway 259 times per week but what about the bagel shop only seeing me 3 times per month? It’s rarely the same person behind the counter yet they never fail. I have trouble believing that orientation on customer service that these college kids receive is that good

  2. Angela says:

    Then I think the real answer you’re looking for is that you are over the moon super special!!

    • says:

      Now maybe you’re onto something 😉 but I can’t take the credit for this and am truly fascinated by the recent number of occurrences
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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