Not that long ago I was having lunch with some friends at a well-known chain restaurant. Now, let it be known that I don’t frequent chain restaurants for many reasons. However, if I could only give one reason it would be out of a fear for an overall lack of quality. See, simple economics will dictate that often times quality is compromised for quantity. The more one produces something, the less time they have to spend on each single item. I understand there’s always an exception to the rule, and given into that understanding I decided to give this particular chain the benefit of the doubt.
The setting was pleasing, and the conversation was even better. However, when my food arrived (nothing too complicated, bear in mind), I found the plastic lid to a disposable container IN my sandwich! Go figure, my luck!
I did, however, learn a few things from this obvious oversight:
At least I know my sandwich was portioned properly. There is NO CHANCE this restaurant will lose money on over applying guacamole, or any other condiment for that matter.
I also became aware of the date the topping was set aside to be used. And, much like the date on the milk carton gives you a sense of confidence, knowing that someone chopped up my jalepenos a few days ago gave me a sense of “fresh.” Maybe.
While the intention was to control the quality of the food with a pre-portioned measurement to ensure consistency, the obvious oversight of the plastic material overruled my would-be satisfaction. That would be called an “epic fail.”
Now, the restaurant’s response? Well, unsurprisingly, they offered me a new one!
A new one. As if I would like another pre-portioned, plastic-infused sandwich! Ok, sure. That’ll make me happy. Actually, it won’t, but I don’t want to be seen as “that-guy” in the public setting.
As consumerists, we’ve become so accustomed to getting things right, or it’s free it’s almost maddening. No, seriously. Think about it. Are we not allowed to make mistakes anymore?
How many signs do we read at cash registers now offering to make things right? If I don’t get my receipt, my meal is free? If I wasn’t happy, management will offer me a new one, PLUS a discount, PLUS a coupon for next time!? These promises eliminate the opportunity for ANY customization, whatsoever!
For many years I’ve served the public hand-crafted cocktails. Yes, that’s a fancy way of saying “bartender.” And, it is also the truth, because as the industry started to take a turn from a free-pouring craft into a portioned, inventoried, quality-controlled systematic flow I became less interested. In reality, restaurants would prefer robots behind bars, accurately portioning all their liquids, and topping each drink with the precise amount of garnish over having one who puts thought, creativity, time and personality into the taste, appearance and unique quality of a drink.
From our food, to our automobiles. Our homes, to our phones. We demand quality, and expect nothing less than perfect. One blemish and we immediately want a refund, discount, rebate or replacement. I’m serious. For awhile I worked as a salesman at a new car lot. It wasn’t uncommon for a new car shopper to investigate the car for any scratch in order to get some type of discount!
“OUR MARRIAGES ARE UNDER ATTACK!”
Attack! As in, there is a pre-meditated ploy out to get you married folk! I’ve heard it pitched a thousand times. And, mostly while sitting in church. Many times preachers, pastors, and advocates will use this type of fear-mongering to defend traditional marriage and, therefore, advocate a stance against gay-marriage. Many times, too, the argument is built under the assumption like this is something new. As if “only in America” do we allow things like this. Or, the pulpit vocalist will pump out statistics inspiring us to think that somehow moral-decay is becoming an epidemic, as if it was never an issue “back in the good ol’ days.”
Here’s the truth:
Marriage found its first oppressor right after its creation. Yes. Satan attacked God’s very first union of two. We know the story, you know, with the apple. Or, was it an orange? Regardless, that age-old story of Adam abandoning his wife, Eve, therefore, subjecting her to the temptations of the Great Deceiver. This, friends, was the very first attack on the sanctity marriage. And, guess what, statistically back in those old days, Satan attacked 100% of marriages, and, sure enough, he won that battle.
So, in a sense, nothing has changed. Satan still attacks. However, he’s sharpened his tools. Today, he uses even more clever devices, like the one I’ve begun illustrating: an expectation of quality.
As pointed out, we demand quality. When something is broke, we just get a new one. I’m amazed at how many people I know drive a brand new car. When I see on facebook the flashy pictures titled, “my new ride,” part of myself cringes. I think, “oh boy, I hope they can hold on to the payments.” What’s even more nerve-racking is typically I find these people on a restless mission to always “upgrade” their devices. It’s not a good thing to become so obsessed with quality. Here’s the problem it may present:
If we have a high-quality car that carries us to the best gym in town and, afterwards, we purchase only the finest brewed coffee (or, latte) then return to our climate-controlled castle so we can relax, briefly, under our precision-tuned shower-head before carefully applying only the most pure cosmetics so we can endure our plush work environment, using the latest in technology and communication, then when things begin to go wrong in our marriage what’s our first response? I WANT A NEW ONE!
I want a newer model! One that whines less, and is adjusted perfectly. I want less consumption, and more options! I want to not have to deal with all the WORK associated with this old piece of JUNK. I’M WORTH MORE THAN THIS!
The reality is, the more we pursue comfort, precision, and perfection in our lives, the less inclined we are to actually FIX that which may not need much fixing at all.
Satan has, once again, manipulated the simple truth of love, and layered it with conditions, complications, qualities, and, therefore, inspiring us to shift our focus from the finesse to the flaw.
Perhaps a quick reading of God’s Word would have us understand that we are all imperfect and all in dire need of a Savior. And, it is only He who can make all things new. (Truth)
How? Cling to Him. Attach yourself to Jesus, and allow Him to manage the discomforts, the imperfections, and even the impurities. I promise, you will be amazed at the work He does–not in the stuff that bother you, but rather, in you.