Waffle House!

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It seems as if there’s been a Waffle House near where I’ve ever lived for as long as I can remember. Over the years, it has continued to be my favorite place to have breakfast. I don’t eat breakfast every day like I used to growing up as a kid, but when I do, Waffle House is the place I prefer.

If you’re really paying attention, you’ll see the most interesting cross-section of life that gathers in one place at one time anywhere in the country. As with most businesses, a lot of what you’ll see will depend upon the time of day or night. But the one time, especially on the weekend, where you’ll see the most diverse representation of life, is at breakfast.

I’ve seen families coming together that one time of the week when they can all rest from the chaos of their lives, and enjoy each other over a breakfast that includes everything that the experts say isn’t good for you, but that most of them grew up on.

I’ve seen husbands and wives come in for that one time of the week, where they can enjoy probably the only time they’ll have together that week that they can afford.

I’ve seen fathers or mothers bring their daughters or sons in for that one time of the week that is reserved just for them.

I’ve seen divorcees and widowers come in by themselves for that one time of the week, where they can just be around other people and listen to other conversations without feeling alone or pitied.

I’ve seen professionals come in after pulling up in the parking lot driving BMW’s or Mercedes, where they can be around a representation of life that reminds them of where they came from.

I’ve seen drunks come in, not necessarily for the breakfast I’ve seen them fall asleep over, but for the coffee that keeps coming for as long as they need it.

I’ve seen senior’s come in, not only to have breakfast, but to enjoy being around younger people, especially the kids, and you can see the joy that it brings to their faces.

I’ve seen bikers, Goths, ex-cons, prostitutes, preachers, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, mayors, governors, atheists, agnostics, health nuts, beach nuts, teachers, and I could go on and on, in a Waffle House.

They come together in an ebb and flow of humanity that defies prediction or explanation. They all get served by a group of employees behind the counter that are just as diverse as those that they serve and, for the most part, they do it in a way that can only be described as organized chaos.

But, you know what the most amazing thing about all of this is? It just seems to work! In an era, where the iconic institutions of our time – the government, the church, the family, the business community, the financial community, the medical community, the environment – are all struggling, Waffle House just seems to work!

Truth Be Told, I find that truly amazing and I rejoice in it!

Published by The Leadership Consortium

Maxie Carpenter was formerly Vice President of HR & Talent Development for Wal-Mart Stores. After a 27-year career, he began to pursue a number of other interests, which included alternative education, nonprofits, consulting, writing and public speaking.

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