Tonight I waited on a guy named Lloyd at the restaurant. There’s a long back-story to how I know of this man, whose name has been changed to very poorly mask his identity. Lloyd is a property owner in our fair city, and he happens to also own the church building that my church has been renting for the last 3 years. The building has a lot of potential, with a beautiful sanctuary with painted glass windows and an extremely high, majestic ceiling. This is why our church loved this building. We loved that room. The building also has black mold, an ancient heating/cooling system, and leaks out the wazoo when it rains. Being the landlord, Lloyd has not addressed these issues with this church building and has let it decrease significantly in value, except not in his mind. He still thinks its worth $1,000,000. It’s not worth $350,000 with all of the repairs that it needs that have been neglected. Our lease is up next month, and our church is moving out. This is mostly due to the fact that Lloyd doesn’t understand how bad that building has become, and though he is trying to sell it, he is selling it for more than twice its actual value to the buyer. For a year, Lloyd has not even countered the offer placed by our church to buy the building.
I don’t believe that Lloyd is a bad guy, just not a great property owner. And his stubbornness has led to my church moving to a new building in two weeks’ time.
So, tonight, anonymous me is waiting on Lloyd on a very busy night at the restaurant. He was with friends tonight and I was glad that he was able to enjoy a good meal at our restaurant. Glad isn’t really the right word. I was fine with the fact that he was there. I wish I was benign, but I wasn’t totally benign. I’ll admit that up front.
When I was taking drink orders for the table, Lloyd ordered the only beer that we didn’t have in stock. I knew this right away as I had sold the last of that beer (Founder’s Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale) to another gentleman earlier in the evening. So I told Lloyd we didn’t have that beer in stock. Lloyd said, “How can you be out of it? Isn’t it a popular beer.” I explained to him that it is indeed a popular beer, which is precisely why we are currently out of it. His mind was blown. He couldn’t understand how we could not have the very beer he wanted to drink in stock when he wanted it, especially because its so popular. I guess he figured that we would never run out of it. He was wrong, and I, unfortunately, couldn’t do anything about it.
Reluctantly, Lloyd ordered a Bombay Sapphire (gin) martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives. It was a drink I had just made for his friend who had asked for four olives with his martini. I knew we were running low on olives as well, but I didn’t say anything. I genuinely didn’t want to ruin his evening. I made the martini, and realized that we had one olive. One. Instead of stuffing this olive, I simply put the olive, as is, in his drink and delivered his martini to him with one non-bleu-cheese stuffed olive plopped in it. I was honestly too busy to care about stuffing one olive since I knew he would be disappointed regardless.
I delivered the martini. and gently put my hand on his shoulder and apologized. I said, “I’m so sorry. We only had the one olive. We are out of olives.” He was astonished. Not only were we out of the beer that he wanted, we were also out of olives? I wasn’t exactly certain we were out of olives because I hadn’t checked our storage to see if we had a new jar. But, like I said, I was honestly too busy to care. I told Lloyd that I am not the one in charge of ordering olives. I wanted so desperately to tell him a parable about a man who owned a building that was so run down and neglected, but that man didn’t care enough to fix the building. It would have felt so great to make a parallel between him and the olive/beer situation, except that the parable would also have made my boss look bad in the process. So, I held my tongue.
I found olives hiding in storage, and, reluctantly, I stuffed two olives with bleu cheese (which is really just moldy cheese and is so disgusting). I brought the olives to Lloyd as a peace offering. I told him I found more olives in back for him. He was less than grateful, but whatever. I was still taking care of him. Lloyd told me that he was going to order the “Chops”, and if we were out of those, he was going to leave (this was an attempt to be funny and also mean). I assured him that we have “Chops” tonight.
When I took orders from the table, Lloyd ordered half a “Chop”. Our pork chop is bone in and is really two pork chops in one order. I explained to Lloyd that we could not serve him half a Chop, because we would have to cut it in half and hope that someone else was going to order half a chop tonight, which is highly unlikely. I explained that this is the only dish we serve that we can’t serve half of. I was laughing inside. Even though I wasn’t doing this on purpose, I kind of felt like he was getting what he deserved: disappointment. Lloyd, now quite annoyed, pointed to the menu and said that he wanted the 1/2 rack of lamb, which is totally not a lamb “chop”. I told him he could have the 1/2 rack of lamb no problem.
Karma is an eastern idea about getting what is coming to you. I don’t believe in karma philosophically, but it was hard tonight not to think that this was precisely what was happening to Lloyd. He’s the main reason why our church is moving out of the building we have been “doing church” in for the last three years. He’s been a thorn in our side. And tonight, not purposely, the “universe” seemed to have dealt him what was coming to him. I’m glad he, at least, enjoyed his 1/2 rack of lamb.