Tonight, Patti, JD, Casey and I visited a local bar/restaurant that just opened a few days ago. We decided to have a meal out rather than eat at home and listen to our ineffective President drone on about Libya.

Normally, when we get together for a dinner such as this, I mostly listen to the conversation because I thoroughly enjoy the interaction between the kids, Patti and me. Tonight was no different. We knew this restaurant was very new and we decided to visit this place because of an incident that happened yesterday.

After church yesterday, JD was out of town, but Casey, Patti and I decided to go see a movie.

While we were waiting in line to get the movie tickets, Patti checked her Facebook and discovered that a friend of ours was at the restaurant, BoomerJacks, with family and was on her 2nd or 3rd Jack and Coke. Not only did Patti see the friend’s postings, but she also saw the responses of her other friends who responded to our friend’s postings about being at the restaurant on a Sunday afternoon and enjoying a few Jacks and Cokes.

We proceeded to watch the movie and after it was over, Patti again checked Facebook to discover that our friend was still at the restaurant and was past her 13th drink. So, we decided to stop by and see how she was doing. When we arrived, we discovered that she had left.

So, tonight, when we decided to find a place to go, we decided to go to BoomerJacks. Now, mind you, this place has been open not even a full week.

As we’re settling into our booth and scoping out the place, we notice that there are plenty of flatscreens on the wall, nice decor with chairs that have the Texas lone star in them around the tables. Music was playing, and not too loudly for the restaurant. We have always held that part of our criteria to decide a good restaurant is if you can have a conversation at your table among all participants without screaming over the music. Well, that’s part of our criteria.

While we sat at our booth, it seemed a bit long before a waitress came to the table to take our drink order. We had been sitting there a few minutes, but already JD had scoped it out. “Too many high school waitresses,” he said. “They need a mix.” I looked around the room and noticed that while there were an abundance of waitresses, and we had waited just a bit too long to have someone take our drink order, it appeared they were right. “They care too much about whether they will be seen by their friends.” Casey then chimed in, “Yeah, they aren’t really old enough to know they need to focus on the customer, not themselves.”

Someone eventually took our drink order and said that our waitress would be with us shortly. By this time, we were getting a little annoyed. For so many wait people around, it seemed it was just taking too long for someone to take our order. Finally a young lady came to take our order. In apologizing for her tardiness, she said, “I’m sorry, there was a printing problem in the back.” That was it.

After she took our order, Casey again chimed in, “Hmm. And the printing problem is somehow the fault of the people at this table?”

After awhile, the waitress delivered the food. JD asked, “Does anyone feel like this food had better be REALLY good?”

Shortly after we began eating, two waitresses dropped drink orders at two tables nearby, getting customers drenched.

Now, I mention this not to criticize this restaurant or to display how picky we are as customers. But as I listened to the conversation at the table, I began thinking about the work I did as a consultant. As a communications consultant, working with companies and organizations of different sizes and complexity, I was always like a waitress in the first week of work, and my children were behaving like buyers of my services I had remembered from the past. They were weighing in about their likes and dislikes about the services they were receiving as customers. At a point in the conversation, I weighed in: “Well, this place hasn’t been open a week yet. They will settle into a good working routine shortly.”

My kids had graduated from the young children I remember needing booster seats and wanting their French fries before the other food was delivered. Both of them have worked in the service industry and they are picky. They know good service. They know what fosters repeat customers.

After paying and as we walked out of the restaurant, I wondered if my own children would have hired me as a buyer of my services. Right then, I could really have used a French fry.