What’s more southern than dominant college football teams, sweet tea and salvageable Cool-Whip bowls? Not much, but biscuits and gravy would definitely be in the conversation.
Last week, I went to a fast food joint and placed an order for two orders of this Southern delicacy. It should have been a very simple transaction. It, however, was not. The Pythagorean Theorem is less complicated than what took place.
My friend J.D. came in after me, so I had someone to chat with before placing my order.
The young lady at the register had just dealt with a complicated customer, so perhaps she was flustered. I worked at a grocery store for many years, so I completely understood her frustration. Customer service can be challenging. I approached her with a smile and told her that mine would be simple. I wasn’t even getting drinks.
“Two orders of biscuits and gravy, please, ma’am,” I said.
“Is that two biscuits or four?” she replied.
It’d been years since I’d ordered them at this restaurant, so I told her that I just wanted two orders – whatever that consisted of. I don’t think she knew.
First of all, she rang my order up wrong – way wrong. I tried to explain what the problem was, but there was no getting through to her. I was actually benefiting from her mistake, so I tried to do the right thing.
Next, I gave her a $20 bill to pay for my order. She mistakenly put in $40. At that moment, I had never seen a more confused individual in my life. It was like a Bama fan on Jeopardy. She had no idea what to do. I immediately told her that the correct change should be $17.94 but to no avail.
She called over the shift manager for assistance. I know she was the manager, because she was the one swinging the keys. She was also eyeballing me like I’d done something wrong.
“Did you order two or four biscuits and gravy?” asked the key swinger.
“Two orders,” I said.
“Why did you give her $40?” she asked.
“I didn’t. I gave her a $20,” I said. “My change should be $17.94.”
I looked back at J.D., who stood there shaking his head.
After scouring the office for a calculator, the manager returned. “Ok, your change will be $17.94,” she sternly said.
I smiled and moved on.
J.D. was next in line. “I want four orders of biscuits and gravy,” he said. Everybody started laughing. Well, everybody but the folks behind the counter. His transaction went seemingly smooth.
He took his receipt, stepped toward me, and we commenced to chatting. A couple of minutes later, another employee shouted, “Biscuits and gravy!”
I approached the counter to pick up my order, but there were four in the bag. “Are these mine or his?” I asked.
“Did you order two or four?” she replied.
“Four!” J.D. intervened. “Take them, Jody. Just take them. I’ll handle it from here.” I haven’t seen J.D. since that morning, but I assume he got his biscuits and gravy.
It was a frustrating seven minutes or so, but that’s all it was. Nothing to get upset about. Sometimes we just need to be patient and smile. Patience usually pays off – sometimes with extra biscuits and gravy.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.