I confess. I broke down and ordered the Oregon peaches from that wildly over-priced mail-order fruit company. I actually paid $44.92 for 18 peaches. That’s $2.50 per peach.
This isn’t them. Can you tell? They certainly look an awful lot like the ones that arrived 2nd-day air on my doorstep today, all individually wrapped in tissue paper and cushioned with foam pillows.
This isn’t the first time I have caved and shelled out big bucks for peaches. One year I even asked for them for my birthday. We were stationed in Hawaii then, and I knew it was my only chance to get a decent peach until we returned to the Mainland. So what’s my excuse this time? I miss peaches. That’s all. It made me extremely cranky to have to find a new breakfast routine to take the place of my usual bowl of Cheerios with a peach cut up on top. Blueberries were plentiful for a while, but they just don’t have enough flavor. And bananas? Not even close. Why not just buy some peaches from the grocery store, you ask? Umm…have you tasted those sorry excuses for peaches ever. Please.
Extravagant? Yep. They are so expensive, it’s embarrassing. But who among us doesn’t have our little indulgences? Premium channels on your cable. Weekly manicure. Regular root touch-ups or highlights. Snobby wine or boutique beer. Subscription to Us or People magazine. This is America, after all. We’re known around the world for our over-the-top behavior. Does Disney World or the ’57 Chevy ring a bell? And yes, I know there are people who don’t earn $2.50 in a month or who get their food from trash heaps. At least I’m supporting some American farmer–who just happens to live 3000 miles away from me.
So to all of my friends who are buy-local enthusiasts: I’m sorry. I’m weak. It was the peaches; they called to me. And to other members of the Uncommon household: I’m rationing them out carefully. They know better than to get between me and my peaches. Oh, they know.
**Disclaimer: I have not received compensation from or even know anyone who works for Chick-fil-A.**
While doing a little traveling this past week, I had the opportunity to stop for lunch at Chick-fil-A restaurants twice. I already knew that the food would be good. The chicken served there actually looks and tastes like real chicken! And I already had a lot of respect for a company that chooses to close all its restaurants on Sundays because its founder “believes that all franchised Chick-fil-A Operators and Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so,” according to the company’s website. The bar was already set pretty high.
I was pleasantly surprised, then, to find that Chick-fil-A had even more to offer. At my first stop there during the busy lunch rush, I was met by a greeter who helped me find the next available register to take my order. My lunch was prepared very quickly. Once I was seated and enjoying my meal, a staff member (perhaps a manager or assistant manager) passing from table to table asked if everything was OK and if I needed anything else. As I was preparing to leave, another employee offered to dispose of my trash for me. At my next visit to a different Chick-fil-A location, an employee came around to each table offering to refill drinks.
I think most people have pretty low expectations when we go to fast-food restaurants. We want the place to be clean. We want the service to be quick. We would really like it if the food was good, although we don’t expect it to be the best burger ever. And we don’t pay much attention to the employees, unless they really screw up. How utterly unexpected and refreshing to find folks who care about their customers and take pride in their work–at a fast-food joint! Since I had similar experiences at two different locations, it seems to me that Chick-fil-A as a company takes seriously the idea of customer service.
Keep it up, Chick-fil-A!!