The Wonder of being out front
There are times when I have gone on vacation and when I return home I can see my house with a unique clarity for about twenty minutes. Then I get used to the visual disarray and I just live with all the flaws intact. I have tried to use that same specific kind of clarity when I come into the bakery and cafe each day. I eye the displays in front of the counter where we sell gifts to see if something needs to be rearranged so customers can see it in a better light. Sometimes I will just substitute one stand for another. I will usually offer a new member of the customer service staff a tour of the cases from the customer’s point of view. I know they are busy waiting on customers and sometimes they do not see the sign that has fallen down or the smeared doily on the second shelf.
The other day as I was doing this job I noticed an older man struggling to get out of his car. He managed to get out and with much difficulty began the long challenging steps up to the front door of the bakery. I opened the door for him and asked him if he needed help. He declined help, a little exasperated that we were not handicap friendly but shared with me that he was coming here for a very special person and it was worth the effort. I asked him about the details. He said he had a favorite woman who cut his hair. She wouldn’t take a tip, but she would take some BonBonerie treats so he has been buying treats for her like he had done today for many years. He smiled. So did I.
On his way out I asked if I could help him down our steps. He took me up on it and told me how he was a Viet Nam veteran. He also shared that he gets a pedicure now and then and most of the women who administer his pedicure were Vietnamese. He said they had no idea what he had seen in their country and he held no anger towards them. He was however able to understand almost everything they were talking about because he understood Vietnamese. I asked him what they talked about and he said with a smile it was just gossip about the other girls in the shop, just like anywhere. He enjoyed his little secret. He let go of my arm as he got into his car with his little pink and white BonBonerie box and off he went to drop it off.
It’s just another reason why I like to take a look at what’s going on in the front of my shop.