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’.