Friday, October 23, 2009

Breakfast, Lunch, and Multi-Tasking

By Millicent K. Brody

I remember my friend Alvin drooling over a cup of hot chocolate he had while visiting his friendly Lexus dealer last year. It happened to be on one of those cold and snowy mornings. He had an appointment to get his car serviced, and he wasn't about to be deterred by the weather. He made the trip to North Jersey with glee, for his just reward would be his cup of delicious, hotter-than-hot chocolate. But that’s not all he had waiting for him. Along with the hot chocolate was a wicker basket filled with fresh bagels and sides of cream cheese and butter. Not bad, you’re saying. Not bad!

I’m saying, “WOW!”

A great way to start the day, and it’s on the house.

Another friend, Susan, has been getting her hair cut at the same salon for years. She always schedules her appointments bright and early in the morning. Why?

“I come in with the staff,” she says. “That’s when the bagels arrive hot and fresh from the oven, and the coffee is perking. I eat like a queen, and it’s always on the House. I love it!”

Having never been privy to breakfast on-the-house at any place I’ve visited, I was totally blown away when I arrived at Lexus of Edison this past week. As I walked through the showroom, I came upon a group of people lounging in comfortable seats. Some were reading the morning papers, others brought their books, and still others were chatting on their cell phones or text messaging their buddies.

And as I got closer to my destination, I noticed a small counter filled with baskets of muffins and bagels. Being a foodie, I naturally had to inspect the selection. There was a generous variety of chocolate, blueberry, and corn muffins, plain bagels, and a coffee station replete with cups, sugar, milk, and artificial sweetener.

I had just had my breakfast, so I only checked out the fare and headed to my appointment.

But, suddenly it was early afternoon, and we were taking a break. As I left the showroom, I couldn't help but notice that the morning repast had been replaced by a gorgeous platter of sandwiches. There were all kinds of freshly prepared turkey, ham, cheese, chicken, and deli sandwiches, along with some really tempting wraps. Finding this much too difficult to pass up, I indulged in a wrap. It was delicious. I was not handed a bill. I did not leave a tip.

From there, I headed to an appointment with my friendly ophthalmologist. Lucky me. It was time for dessert. There on his special counter was a container of cookies, a big dish of candy, and would you believe more coffee?

So what did I learn?

Time your appointments to coincide with breakfast, lunch, and possibly a mid-afternoon snack. If you’re lucky, you’ll be invited to enjoy a cup of coffee. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to bite into a bagel with cream cheese or enjoy a Danish pastry. And if you’re really, really lucky, and it’s lunch time, you’ll get the opportunity to choose between a tuna on rye with tomato and lettuce, a sub sandwich, or a generous grilled chicken wrap with lettuce, tomato, and balsamic vinegar.

You cannot afford not to take advantage of every bit of generosity during these tough economic times. Just don’t forget to say, “Thank-you!”

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