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Laugh With Lisa: Leadership Qualities

Lisa DeMarco tells a tale against herself.

One time, I asked my boss, the original owner of the Diner where I worked, what the numbers were for that were taped along the front door frame at the restaurant. To which he told me, they were there to show how high the water levels have gotten over the years in this location. Considering he lived here most of his life and he was pretty old, plus he owned the restaurant, I took what he said as the “truth.” However, it wasn’t until several years later that I learned he was only teasing with me.

So, I was working with my manager, who happened to be the original owner’s daughter-in-law, and this couple asked me, while I am cashing them out at the register – by the front door, “What are the numbers (taped to the door frame) for?”

To which I replied, as I had several time throughout the years when asked, “It marks the height the water levels here in Lake County have reached over the years.”

Being newly transplanted northerners, the couple also accepted the explanation and went on their way. It wasn’t until after they left that I saw my manager laughing her keester off. Literally, she was almost out of breath laughing so hard. I thought she was going to need medical attention. After a few minutes, when she finally managed to compose herself, she asked me, “Where did you get that hair-brain idea about the numbers?”

But before I could even get a word out, she went on to tell me what they really were for, and how she was shocked that with all my experience in the hospitality industry and in life in general that I didn’t already know. Then still chuckling, and still not giving my an opportunity to speak, she continued, “Those numbers stupid are up there so in case the restaurant ever gets robbed we can tell the police the thieves approximate size.”

Apparently, all convenient stores, gas stations, restaurant have this to help identify criminals, and any person with half a brain is aware of this. The fact that I not only never noticed them anywhere else before or since the old man had told me this load of crap was bad enough, but now knowing that I had told other people that crap and they probably told other people, and so on and so on, that was really bad. Plus now everyone at the Diner knew how gullible I really was. And you could guarantee that anyone that wasn’t either working or eating at the Diner that day would be told – again and again – until everyone had heard the story, and how I definitely deserved to be “Major of Stupidville!”

The best part was when I finally told my manager that it was her father-in-law that supplied me with this handy information, she literally had to remove herself from the dining room because she couldn’t stop laughing. The next day when the old man stopped in to raz me, he said, “I would have never thought you were stupid enough to believe me!”


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