Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Plug for Pithless Thoughts and a hero for our times, Robert Lee

I check in fairly frequently at Steven Paul's Pithless Thoughts.

As I've mentioned before, I returned to the Orthodox Church not too many years ago.  In large part, Steven's old show, Our Life in Christ, was integral to my education about the Orthodox Faith.  Not merely because of the show's excellent content, but as well, I just could not get over at that time that "converts" had become Orthodox and were teaching the Faith to persons like myself- "born" into the Faith but having left.

The "converts" had found something in Orthodoxy I never had until my return.  It was wonderful for me to see all this.

Anyway, back to the reason for this post.  Some time back, Steve had posted this video,

with the follow up on how they made the commercial,

For whatever reason, I immediately identified with Robert Lee, the "hero" of these commercials and especially in relation to Kyklos Greek Cafe,  the shop I and my brothers own.  We have taken our share of hits doing this business.

Robert's attitude towards his product and the prospective buyer are almost identical to my own.

This is what I do and make and if you don't like it, that's okay.  We're not for everybody.  If you wish to be served, let me and my crew take you through our "system" and we will ensure a very pleasant eating experience in terms of service, quality and quantity.  However, if you show up determined to find fault and be unreasonable and ignorant, please, do go somewhere else and eat.  

There have been several times that after taking peoples' orders, it became clear to us that the situation was going to end badly whereupon we humbly refunded their money and told them to go elsewhere as we were not going to serve them. They could not believe it. 

Another reason I like Robert is that he operates from his many hard experiences.  There is very little fluff to detect in him.  I like that.   That is not to say that I do not see his humor, but the man has experienced some pain.

To be in a small business such as my restaurant and to offer a good, honest and consistent product day after day takes a lot more than people realize.  I don't say this to want any "understanding" from anyone but rather to point out that the endeavor to keep at it requires a very low tolerance for BS of any kind.


Speaking of Pithless Thoughts,  here is an (really bad) attempt at an "Orthograph"(copyright Pithless Thoughts) of my own.  You can contrast this timid attempt(as evidenced by the not so bold drawing) with some of the excellent and quite clever Orthographs Steve has done on his site.  Steve has often said that he comes up with his stuff without leaving himself exempt from his humorous critiques.

This one seemed easy to do but when I sat down to do it, it was hard and I'm not sure it makes sense. Hopefully Steve will see this and possibly clarify/correct it.


s-p said...

There's a LOT of truth in this, brother. Having been self employed for nearly 30 years I identified with Robert Lee and have developed the same "6th sense" and attitude: I bend over backwards to do a good job, and if my best isn't good enough for you here's your money back find someone else. (and a few times it has cost thousands just to bail out of a spiral into a black hole). And thanks for the H/T Sopho-graph. It might be in Greek but it translates easily. :)

Sophocles said...

Thanks! Glad you speak my language.

I've done plenty of plain dumb things in business as well. Our soda machine is the only one in the food court that faces out towards the customer, allowing self service. Needless to say, this makes it a target for thieves as well. So, being a sick sinner like me, God has arranged it that THAT soda machine is a good instrument to teach me to not get angry(I'm still working on being cool with soda machine mishaps). I have jumped over the counter so many times over that machine. Security in the mall and I have a good understanding ; ;.

I have a feeling that soda machine and my salvation have an intimate connection.

Sophocles said...


In case you check back here, how WOULD you have gone about drawing out my idea? I would be curious.

s-p said...

Hi Sophocles, hmmmm... good question. At first glance I thought it was actually two Orthographs in one (maybe even three). The idea is there, but which form of "graph" to use to express it is the problem I always have when deciding to draw and idea. Its not as easy as it looks. :)

Sophocles said...

Very true. When trying(pitifully) to do it, I looked over several of your models to see which would best suit the idea. It seemed a no brainer before I sat down and made the attempt but quickly I found out that isn't the case.