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Fixin' Supper

Talkin' 'bout what to fix for supper. Tonight, tomorrow night....

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Diner economics

This afternoon I got out of the first-day session of the Gel conference [this is a GREAT, GREAT conference. If you have anything to do with customer experience, I can already recommend it after one afternoon session with Creative Good CEO Phil Terry. Day Two starts tomorrow; more after that.] and I was hungry. I'd grabbed both breakfast and lunch on the go. I made plans to go to dinner with others from my afternoon session but I couldn't wait til 7:30 p.m. to eat. I was Hungry Right Now.

So I walked back to my sister's apartment and stopped at the nearby diner. I've visited my sister many times and always seen this restaurant but never gone in before. Today I figured I could find a good snack there before dinner.

I felt in many ways I'd stepped back into my childhood. It's the kind of diner you can find all over New York, but it's no longer fasionable out in the flyover states. You can get anything there -- I mean anything. Greek food, steak, hamburgers, breakfast all day, sandwiches, fried appetizers, salads, and on and on. I ordered a grilled cheese and fries. Both were good. Don't laugh; I've had bad versions of both. And the service was excellent.

But what really started to bother me were the economics of the place. The folks working there were all middle-aged adults. My ticket came to $8.25. Maybe a little on the low side but probably not by much. I left what was I suspect a generous tip. The wait staff looked like the kind of folks who had families to support -- and probably parents too. In Nashville, I think it wouldn't be easy. But in Manhattan, how is that even remotely possible? My sister quickly says, You live in an outer borough and you have another job. Well OK. It still seemed harder than it had to be to me. No answers here, just a lot of questions.


At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Don said...

I find it really amazing what people will tolerate as normal in a large bustling metropolis like NY.

I know plenty of people in VA who tolerate 1 hour commutes (1 way) to get into DC and Northern VA on a daily basis -- 2 hours per day, 10 hours per week?!?! If those people lived closer to their jobs, they could add a whole day to their week.

I wonder, what compells a person to add such a thick layer of inconvenience/complexity to their life?

Gel was a blast -- I wish I had taken more picture of the places my wife and I ate.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Laura Creekmore said...

And I've never gotten up that post about Hue. I will get it in soon or I'll forget.

It was a great conference, but you're right; every time I go to New York, I wonder how on earth folks deal with all the inconveniences. It's a tough life in some ways.

At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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