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Lessons Learned On Vacation: Sometimes It’s What You Don’t See

Television set for Wikipedia userbox icons, or...

It was so rainy, the tourist infomercial channel seemed like a good idea (Image via Wikipedia)

Sometimes it is the little things that matter. Appearances aren’t the most important thing, but sometimes they make a difference. Attention to detail can be critical.

I had a little rainy day time to kill on vacation and was watching one of those cable channels that exists to draw tourists to restaurants and attractions in the area. There was a show on about restaurants. The best way I can describe the show is that it was a series of five-minute infomercials about places to eat.

One of the ads featured what seemed to be a very nice establishment. The ad started with an interview with the owner, who gushed about his menu and his staff. A little feature on the head waitress was next, followed by the owner talking about how good it was that he had his own butcher on staff at the restaurant.

Lefty, Come Out And Say Hello To Everyone

The butcher seemed like a nice old guy. He said he had been working for the restaurant for over twenty years. The video portion of the interview switched to some shots of Mr. Butcher at work, cutting and aging steaks while the audio talked about how having an in-house butcher benefitted the dining experience. The segment ended with a shot of the butcher holding up a freshly cut steak for the viewer to see.

What I saw was that Mr. Butcher was missing the end of one of his fingers. I can only assume there was some sort of occupational mishap in his past.

I’m sure that Lefty The Butcher is a good man who knows his business. I believe that there is some benefit to having him on staff as opposed to the restaurant buying meat all willy-nilly like the rest of us do. God bless the man for choosing to stick with his trade after what was likely a very painful episode in his life.

However…

1912 Pennsylvania butcher shop -- H.A. June Me...

Long ago, in those carefree ten fingered days (Image by eaubscene via Flickr)

I will not eat at that restaurant.

I am not at all concerned that I’ll end up with a section of one of Lefty’s nine and three-quarter remaining digits as a garnish. I think going through a self amputation imparted an extra level of care in Mr. Butcher that he did not have in his carefree, ten fingered youth.

I will not eat at that restaurant because I think that including the short fingered hand in the ad implies an unacceptable lack of attention to detail by the restaurant’s management. Sure, be proud of your butcher. Brag on him. Show a long shot of him at work. If you want to interview him, keep the camera high and tell him not to scratch his face. Have your chef (presuming he hasn’t lopped something off) display the steak. Any thinking person has to know that a butcher who only has nine fingerprints is going to be distracting to potential customers. If the management is missing that detail, what else are they missing? I do not intend to find out.

I’m going to start paying attention to the small details in life.

Sometimes it is the small things that make a difference.

Sometimes it’s what you don’t see.

Like a fingertip.

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40 Comments on “Lessons Learned On Vacation: Sometimes It’s What You Don’t See”

  1. Wendi says:

    Oma, I’m going to keep this in mind when I’m on vacation next week in the lovely state of Georgia. Hopefully, all of the people involved in the preparation of my food and beverages will be in possession of all their digits. And if not, I certainly don’t want to know about it.

  2. Carefree, ten fingered youth. Weren’t those the days.

    That would have been great if they’d done one of those cheesy bits where they flash to different people in the restaurant holding up a finger saying, “We’re #1!” and the butcher held up his and said, “We’re #.75!”

  3. Brooke says:

    I think you pick up every detail. Between this and your post about the shady Subway, you have an excellent eye for oddity detail.

  4. Katybeth says:

    I agree the marketing was poorly presented but it is somewhat refreshing. The restaurant is upfront and does not hide behind it’s marketing–they show you who they are. When something is missing–they don’t lie about it. Sometimes you do have to look a little closer but I can’t imagine you miss much.

    Hope you enjoyed your vacation.

  5. See, this is why I don’t eat meat. The off change that I’ll be enjoying some finger meat like a cannibal. Or a zombie.

    Brains brains brains!

  6. madtante says:

    I think seeing his partially-missing digit might turn me off, while you make an excellent point that he probably learned far greater care and caution from the episode.

    I, on the other hand (!), am proud they included him. I think it’s like people pointing out my middle niece has a frightfully large tummy (otherwise thin). I hadn’t noticed it because I love her. Maybe this long-time family-run business loves Lefty so much, it never occurred to them. Then again, that’s why whoever shooting the commercial — perhaps — could’ve made the hard decisions.

    • omawarisan says:

      A lot of credit goes tp the producers of the show. I noticed that they used the severed finger shot at the end of the show in the closing credits along with shots from other restaurants. Well done!

  7. Todd Pack says:

    Good observation, Oma. Before I went on a trip a while back, I was checking the hotel’s website, and there were pictures of a couple in the restaurant, and a couple in the pool, and a couple in the workout room, and a couple holding each other in a romantic embrace in a hotel room, and I noticed the women were different, but it was always the same guy. I don’t know whether it was meant as subliminal advertising to attract guys or whether the photographer could afford only so many models.

  8. Amy says:

    I think that attention to detail is inversely related to attention spans. People just don’t LOOK at anything long enough anymore to notice the little things. It’s a lost art. Glad to know that you’re keeping it alive.

  9. gmom says:

    That’s hilarious!
    Why not eat there, come on… spoilsport…it’s not like he had no arms and did his amazing culinary feats with his…feets!
    I’m cracking myself up now…Hahahahaha

  10. We found him Captain!! says:

    Welcome home Oma!
    I think I know that butcher guy. He was serving horse doovers at a wedding we attended in NJ recently. He does catering part time and his specialties are
    “finger foods” such as BBQ chicken wings and pigs in a blanket.

  11. The Jagged Man says:

    Come on Oma, Lefty was just giving the restaurant a nine out of ten rating. Not to shabby but I can see your point though not his.I’m pun…..er….done.

  12. linlah says:

    The devil’s in the details and sometimes a little finger too.

  13. spencercourt says:

    So I guess you’d have a problem eating at “Mom’s” if you saw the waitress come out with an apron that was a nasty black from who knows what had been on there for who knows how many years….

  14. I’m the most unobservant person I know…I probably wouldn’t have noticed the butcher’s missing digit…

    Maybe I should hire you to check out restaurants before I actually go there to eat…

    Wendy

  15. gmom says:

    I actually, in for real life, not just blogdom,I don’t eat in restaurants.

    I’m a big fat food bigot and even in my own kitchen I wear gloves preparing food.
    It’s the only place I know of that the food is prepared organically and to specification.
    I even asked to see the kitchen at Spagos and then left.Sorry folks go see for yourself.

    If a person cooking can’t handle a knife he sure as hell can’t be in a kitchen.
    Unless of course there is some disclaimer like…Chef Purple Heart lost his digit in combat in Vietnam but bravely went on to culinary school.

    My eldest son is a chef, when we are out together the other party members cringe because both of us have no problem smelling a dish and sending it straight back to the kitchen.
    The last Thai place we tried in New York, son actually wiped his mouth out with his linen napkin. and told the chef he only brushes his teeth with toothpaste never cooks with it. We tend to stick with very well known sushi spots. It’s hard to ‘ef up a raw fish.

  16. Laura says:

    I guess I’m weird — a missing fingertip wouldn’t bother me. Unless it was freshly missing. Or one of mine.

  17. Maxim says:

    I’m gonna have to disagree with you here. A partly fingerless butcher in a restaurant is a great thing. You know that even after his horrible accident, he is so committed to his craft that he continued. I would be honored to have a finger in my food off of him.

  18. planetross says:

    Maybe he lost it in a war somewhere. Bay of Pigs comes to mind for some reason. hee hee!

    note: what finger was partially missing?

  19. Blogdramedy says:

    Some people take the adage “truth in advertising” just a tad too far. 🙂


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