So I walked into my favorite restaurant in Tampa, was greeted by a Russian lady, Gina, who typically waits on me, and grabbed myself some wood at the bar.
A bearded, bespectacled man who was sitting two chairs away, looked and me and exclaimed, “You look familiar. I think I know who you are.”
“Are you a martial arts teacher?” I asked, noting the Chinese characters on his shirt.
“No, I’m not a martial arts teacher.”
“Oh, I noted the black t-shirt and characters and thought you might be,” I replied.
He continued: “What is your name?”
“My name is Matt.”
“And what do you do for a living?”
“I help people become more successful,” I answered.
“And how do you do that?”
“With my books and courses and newsletters and other services.”
“My name is Andy and I’m in IT. I think you should get a membership site on onlyfans.com,” he said, with a serious expression.
I raised my left eye a bit and said, “Onlyfans? The porn hub?”
“Oh, it’s not just a pornhub. I know a guy who teaches cooking on it and he charges $2.00 a month and…”
“TWO dollars a month?” I laughed.
“Yeah, it’s good money. You can get followers from all over the world who just sit there and watch you cook, or whatever else you do.”
With zero excitement I said, “I see.” Then I got up from my chair and relieved myself in the lavatory.
Upon my return the bearded wonder turns to me and says, “Is it alright if I talk with you some more.”
“YOU can talk,” I snarled.
“What’s your name again?”
“I already told you that.”
“Oh, your name is Matt. Sorry. And what do you do for a living again?”
“I told you that, too,” angling my body toward the door, hoping he can read body language.
“You know what else you can do to improve your business?”
I turned to him as though I wanted to know his next piece of whiz dumb, then stated, “How about you get to work on your memory. There are a few courses I can recommend.”
This terminated the conversation.
A minute later, Gina brought my food, recalling correctly what I wanted. She brought more than the usual amount of food, her habit, which I always reciprocate at the end of the meal with a meatier tip.
Before finishing my meal, the bearded guh-roo finished his brew, got up from his seat and said goodbye to the staff. I sent out the “don’t put your hands anywhere near me” vibe – and he got the message, leaving me at peace to finish my meal.
After paying my bill, I asked Gina where the Ukrainian waitress was, as I had a gift for her.
“Raquel,” she called out.
Within seconds the Ukrainian appeared. “Hi Matt,” she says, easily remembering my name.
“I have a little gift for you. You told me you’re fasting this week, and I thought that maybe some reading material would keep your mind strong.”
I handed her a copy of Psycho-Cybernetics and flipped to a page with some exercises she can do to relax.
“Oh, thank you,” said Raquel. “When I am finished I will give it back to you.”
“No,” I answered. “There’s no giving it back. This copy is for you.”
“You mean you want me to keep this book?” she questioned.
“Yes, it is a gift. No giving it back to me.”
At this point she was crying her eyes out. I put my hand on her shoulder and said, “You are going to be amazed at how good this book is.”
Raquel opened her arms, giving the hug signal, and although I’m usually not the touchy-feely type (outside of family), I gave her a hearty embrace.
As I walked out the door I wondered how such a small gesture of kindness could produce such a reaction.
And then it came to me. Many people in this world have never been given a no-strings-attached gift from anyone in their life.
Not only that, when you speak, most people don’t listen, not even when you’re telling them your name.