Are You 'The One In Every Crowd'?

In 1960, Mr. Jack Caddell, started more than a fad, but an important moment in history with the opening of his chain of famous restaurants, Jack's, which is still around in 2011.
In 1960, Mr. Jack Caddell, started more than a fad, but an important moment in history with the opening of his chain of famous restaurants, Jack's, which is still around in 2011. | Source

SEE IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT IS THE SAME IN ALL OF THESE RESTAURANT PHOTOS.

Resturant employees work hard cooking and keeping orders straight. The last thing they need is someone who yells, "Anytime, sissy! I ain't starved yet!"
Resturant employees work hard cooking and keeping orders straight. The last thing they need is someone who yells, "Anytime, sissy! I ain't starved yet!"
This pretty girl is enjoying her meal because the atmosphere in this restaurant is safe, secure and without any troublemakers.
This pretty girl is enjoying her meal because the atmosphere in this restaurant is safe, secure and without any troublemakers.
Who wouldn't love to take their date or spouse to a nice place like this where you can sit down, relax and dine on your favorite foods without hearing yelling, cursing, or someone threatening the restauarnt help.
Who wouldn't love to take their date or spouse to a nice place like this where you can sit down, relax and dine on your favorite foods without hearing yelling, cursing, or someone threatening the restauarnt help.
This is how a restaurant should be. Cordial, lively and the sound of people laughing having a great time. There is no place in any restaurant for anyone who starves for attention.
This is how a restaurant should be. Cordial, lively and the sound of people laughing having a great time. There is no place in any restaurant for anyone who starves for attention.
People of all ages, walks of life, and occupations, love to eat in a restaurant where there are no 'bullies' who love to intimidate restaurant employees and other diners.
People of all ages, walks of life, and occupations, love to eat in a restaurant where there are no 'bullies' who love to intimidate restaurant employees and other diners.
A lovely restaurant. Friendly customers. Peaceful atmosphere. What a great time to go out to eat. And no loudmouths to bother you.
A lovely restaurant. Friendly customers. Peaceful atmosphere. What a great time to go out to eat. And no loudmouths to bother you.

You can tell by this story's headline that I am in a serious mood. I wish to decency that I could write this as a humorous adventure, but my better judgement will not let me do that. I am presenting a story that may or may not affect you, your family or friends. At least I hope that it doesn't. The subject, "Are You 'The One In Every Crowd'?" is nonetheless important to how you and I conduct ourselves when we interact with the service industry--postal employees, carpenters, day laborers, and even restaurants. Mostly restaurants because this is the most-sensitive area where abusive behavior is more common and stands out for all to witness.

I have, in my travelling days, heard that expression, 'there's one in every crowd,' and in a Taco Bell restaurant in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, one bitter-cold Friday night. My family and I had stopped at this restaurant for the proverbial "Friday night eat out" event and since none of us had tried Taco Bell, it seemed like the smart thing to do. Stop and enjoy a meal of tasty Mexican food.

Coining ESPN's Game Day celebrity, Lee Corso's phrase, "not so fast, my friend," for you guessed it, there was one in this crowd. One guy who insisted on standing in line behind other customers, smoking a cigarette--and blowing the smoke in all directions. I wasn't one to start any friction since I was an "out-of-towner," so I just endured this aggravation and kept my trap shut. Suddenly, a middle-aged gentleman, I think he was from Michigan (from the way he talked), walked up to the smoker and said in a loud voice, "Yes, there's one in every crowd," and walked away in an obvious huff. I didn't blame the Michigan customer. The smoker should have respected the restaurant and the customers who didn't smoke cigarettes.

Don't misunderstand. I am not a moralist. I do not go around poking my finger into everyone's face telling them what is right or wrong, but if that smoker had tried this stunt in 2011, with all the anti-smoking rules in effect in restaurants, bars, places of business and workplaces, he would have either been asked in a nice way to leave, or be escorted out by the police. Gee, how things have changed since 1984, the time I was in the Taco Bell in Muscle Shoals.

My point of this story is this: Respect for others goes a long way. With anyone. Respect for other people's property, including their livestock, and family dogs and cats, goes a long way as well. I may be wrong here, but has respect for others in today's mainstream society become a lost and fading part of the culture we live in? Honest? When was the last time that you saw someone, anyone, exercise common courtesy. Without being forced to do it? I thought so. And here again, I come off sounding like some nerd from the mid-fifties by saying that I try my best to not only exhibit, but practice courtesy whenever I can. Exhibiting and exercising courtesy. There is a difference.

Now to the 'meat of the subject,' 'Are You That One In Every Crowd,' that I want to present in a courteous, manner able and respectful manner. Is that okay with you? Now I realize that this story will not have anything to do with most of you, but the ones who are affected by my story, I beg you to just take your time. Be honest with yourself. And face up, if you are 'That One In Every Crowd,' for it is the wisest thing you will do for yourself. Self-improvement. Another lost art in the evolution of our society.

First, let me 'go out on a limb,' by confessing that thanks to my wife and daughter, I had to face the fact one lonesome day in November, I forget the year, that "I" was probably 'the biggest one in every crowd,' for my wife and daughter told me in a nice way that when we three were in restaurants, "I" was the one who was being looked at by other customers. I first thought my wife and daughter were paying me a compliment. I said 'thanks,' smiled, and then all my good feeling was wiped out when they explained, "Kenny, (that's what my wife calls me. My daughter of course, called me, dad) it's like a Broadway production to eat with you in public. You whistle, yell at friends, talk to any waitress who smiles at you and other people are being turned-off by your behavior." I admit it. That hurt. But after I thought long and hard about what they had said, I had to agree. They were correct. I was putting on a 'one man show' every time we set foot in a restaurant--in or out of town. Looking back, no wonder all those customers shook their heads as I would joke like Milton Berle and talk about anything on my mind to what few friends who just happened to be at the restaurant at the time.

I changed. And I am glad that I did. Now days, when my wife eat together in public or eat with friends in public, or in our home or theirs, I listen to my wife and friends more. And talk less. No more corny one-liners. No tap dancing in the restaurant kitchen as the restaurant employees clap in unison at my nifty dance steps. That Kenneth is gone. So long. I am glad now that my wife and daughter loved me that much to offer me some needed-correction in the way I behaved in public. Men, if you have a wife and daughter like this, tell them how much you appreciate them looking out for your dignity and public image. They will love hearing your words of praise.

Now, to find out if "You Are That One In Every Crowd," take this simple test. Check the statements that are true about you. No one will ever know. This is between you and yourself.

IN RESTAURANTS . . .Do You

1. Bang the table if your food is not on time?

2. Yell at the cook in a hateful tone of voice, "Hey, buddy! I ain't gettin' any younger here!"

3. Talk loud to other patrons how slow this restaurant is and this might be your last time?

4. Throw the paper that your straw is wrapped in at your wife or children because you cannot find anything constructive to talk about?

5. Get up, let out a loud, disgusting sigh and go to the men's room and mumble negative things on your way back?

6. Tell your wife (so others will hear you, namely the restaurant manager), "If I had known that this place run on molasses, I would have brought my dinner in a brown bag!"

7. Tell your waitress, "I've lost five pounds since I've been sitting here," as she refills your water or drink.

If you saw yourself in one or more of these seven questions, then you, like me once, are "That One In Every Crowd," but do not worry. I can help. Only one who has been 'That One In Every Crowd,' can help.

TO IMPROVE. . .Do This

A. Before you enter the place of service--post office, lumber yard, home improvement store, restaurant or library, just take a moment to THINK. That's right. Think. About where you are at. You are not at home. Your bullying ways of talking will not be appreciated. By anyone. Just think.

B. RELAX. Sometimes when I was "That One In Every Crowd," I was nervous about being in public and the only way I could counteract the stress was talk loud, be funny and talk at a hundred miles per hour. This principle did not work. And if you are doing what I did, it probably isn't working for you either. Just relax. Breathe a few minutes when you get out of the car. You will see a dramatic difference in how you act.

C. LOOK DOWN. This will help you to not make eye-contact with people, another social trigger that causes loud, hateful talk. Just walk slowly with your wife or friends to the table, sit down, relax some more and start a moderate-toned conversation with your friends. This takes the pressure off of you to talk about you and the terrible, nerve-racking day you have had.

D. SMILE. Often. This may be the most-simple tip of all that will help you the most. Smiling makes you relax and gives off a peaceful, friendly vibe from yourself. Others will not suddenly want to stop eating and leave when you smile, unless you are smiling as you help yourself to their pork chops they are eating. That was a joke to lighten things up for I know, first-hand, how difficult this is for you. I didn't say that changing was easy. But with some hard work and practical use of my tips, you will be the 'toast of the town' in no time.

E. COMPLIMENT. Your waitress. In moderation, as she refills your glass with water or cup with coffee. Tell her, "you are going a good job," or, "everyone needs to be a waitress at one time in their life for that is hard work," your waitress will be more-relaxed when she brings your food. If you are still the "old you," belligerent, loud-mouthed, and bullying people around you, she will be intimidated by you and think that you are going to curse her out when she does bring your food if it's a tad late. So please. I beg you. Change your public image. And you will be flocked all the time by friends who love to be around you. I promise.

As an added feature, I give you a solid list of

PLACES THAT DO NOT TOLERATE LOUD MOUTHS, BULLIES, AND PEOPLE WITH NO SOCIAL SKILLS IN PUBLIC:

TRUCK STOPS - if you try any of the things the "old you" does in other public places, I can assure you that the owners, managers of any truck stop will not tolerate your antics. The men and women who use these businesses are professional trucker's and they have stopped to rest, eat, and relax. Not put up with someone who constantly runs their mouth with complaints, stupid jokes, cuts against the truck stop employees or truckers. I implore you. Change.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES - I know, will send you packing if you are loud and boisterous. Do not use, "I was only kidding," as your excuse. That may work some, but not in a library where people are reading, studying and getting information on how to better themselves. Just think, relax, look down, and be quiet-spoken and you will be fine in a library.

CHURCHES - yes, churches. You may not act-up in your own church for fear that people will find out the 'real you,' so you might be tempted to show-out if you are invited to attend a different church with friends. Please, do not say, "Is this choir holding a sacred hymnal marathon this morning?" and bang the pews. Some churches, although humble and care for others, will have enough and the deacons or elders will show you their parking lot.

DOCTOR'S OFFICES - this, my friend, is a very-sensitive place to show your true colors of using profanity, talking loud, and making noise out of aggravation for not being next in line. I have known of some doctors themselves coming out of their examination rooms to ask a stand-out troublemaker in the waiting room the door. Doctors and nurses take their callings seriously. Remember this when you are sick and have to visit a doctor's office.

POLICE STATIONS - especially police stations. Above all the rest. Do not act-up, show-out, make a public spectacle of yourself or you will be in a lot of trouble. "What would I be doing at a police station?" you ask. Well, what if you are called in by the police to tell what happened at an automobile wreck you witnessed. Or you want to report some suspicious activity on your block. You need to first, think, like I said earlier, yes, relax to the best of your ability, and focus on where you are at. You are not at a quaint little restaurant where a "Millie Jo" works. No, friend. You are in the place where the men in blue work protecting me and people like you from vicious criminals. And keep in mind that policemen, like firefighters, EMT's and ambulance workers, put their lives on the line everyday. For little or no respect. It would serve you to learn to respect policemen, state troopers, firefighters, EMT's, ambulance workers . . .

And people who write articles in HubPages.

Just threw that in there. I thought it couldn't hurt.



ANGER IS A DISEASE THAT CAN CAUSE YOU TO LOSE YOUR SELF-RESPECT, FRIENDS, AND SELF-RESPECT. DO NOT BE 'THAT ONE IN EVERY CROWD.'
ANGER IS A DISEASE THAT CAN CAUSE YOU TO LOSE YOUR SELF-RESPECT, FRIENDS, AND SELF-RESPECT. DO NOT BE 'THAT ONE IN EVERY CROWD.'
This is a scene from Jack's (resturant) Grand Opening in Jasper, Alabama in 1967.
This is a scene from Jack's (resturant) Grand Opening in Jasper, Alabama in 1967. | Source

More by this Author


Comments 20 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Being with that ONE is excruciating. My son in law is that one. He calls waitresses "sweetie" and has never, ever been pleased with a meal. The meat is tough or something is cold or something...

I do remember to be grateful for others who work hard to provide service to me. One has to just be obnoxious for me to get grouchy. Great Hub here "Kenny".


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Hyphenbird, THANK YOU, DEAR FRIEND, for this comment. I truly appreciate YOU and your lovely, heartfelt remark. And you strike me as a person who WOULD consider the other person's feelings. I have had the displeasure of dining with a know-it-all and let me tell you, it is NOT fun. Embarrassing to be truthful. Thanks for the hub remark. I appreciate YOU, dear hub friend. Kenny!


lyndapringle profile image

lyndapringle 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

I loved your witty examples of snarky one liners such as "I'm not getting any younger here" and the one about how if the person would have known the service was as slow as molasses, he would have brought a brown bag. Those were good, if not polite. LOL. I had a friend who was not too happy with her rare steak tell the waitress, "I didn't want my meat mooing." I'm very polite to service staff because I know they work extremely hard for low wages so I'm not going to make life more difficult for them. But I'm sure that, at some points in my life, I've been that "one in the crowd." One can tell the character of a person by how they treat the service staff. I avoid friendships with those who are rude to waiters or other help. That yells narcissism and snobbery to me and I would rather not have those people in my inner circle. The one time I decided to ignore my instincts on this one and accept the person as a friend, I was burned badly, so back to using my good intuition. People are only as good as they treat others.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Ken....simply because like so many young students, I paid my way through school by waiting tables, I am a polite and patient customer, ALWAYS. I know the hard work and tolerance it requires to be of service to a room full of very different and hungry people!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I no longer smoke but back when I did and it was allowed, living in tobacco country we were probably the last state to stop that, but my husband and I still did not smoke in restaurants. For people who didn't and not only that people who smoked brought their children into the smoking sections! We didn't smoke around our own children and that went on for years and should have been illegal to drag kids in with a dozen or more lit cigarettes! Not only the smoke but danger of kids allowed free roam to run into a lit one. I find it hard to believe you offended anyone but it is wonderful a man can take his wife's advice without blowing up. You seem a special man to me.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Lyndapringle, I APPRECIATE YOU AND YOUR COMMENT VERY MUCH. You are a very wise lady in using discernment in choosing your friends. Like you, I have been burned a lot of times choosing the wrong friends, and even worse, eating with them as they browbeat the waitress and cafe staff. I had to hide my face in shame. I said farewell to "these" friends and didn't look back. My daughter, who is married and lives away from me now was a great waitress at our local Holiday Inn restaurant called the RiverChase Restaurant. She LOVED this work. I encouraged her if that is what made her happy to just go for it. But with her telling me these tales of horror that happened to her, I have kept it in my mind to at least try to be patient and kind to service personnel. And I do thank you AGAIN for the nice comment. Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, fpherj48, I admire you for sharing this comment with me. I was telling Lyndapringle above how my daughter worked as a waitress and made good money. Even had her own 'groupies,' if you will, who would only eat if she was on duty. Waiters and waitresses are a special breed and command respect from all of us. Thanks for your comment and God bless you. Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, pollyannalana, THANK YOU FOR THE COMMENT AND THE NICE COMPLIMENT. I don't get many compliments at my age, but THANKS for making my weekend! I appreciate your sharing about smoking too. I used to smoke and am guilty, before restaurants made it illegal, of smoking in restaurants, but I began to hear a little voice in my heart telling me that I needed to quit. Years later, with God's amazing mercy, I did. And as for me being a special man, which I thank you again for saying that, I try to live a peaceful, obscure life without drawing attention to myself. And those days of "entertaining" restaurant crowds are, thank God, OVER! I very much enjoy the peaceful atmoshere of being a quiet, obscure, faceless man. Keep in touch with me. I like your way of writing. And your hubs are GREAT! Sincerely, Kenneth


Lee B profile image

Lee B 5 years ago from New Mexico

As a former waitress and bartender, I've got to thank you for this hub! Now I work in retail and see many of the same types of behaviors from customers. This difficult economy has stressed out a lot of people and NOT improved their behavior.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear friend, Lee B, no, I am the one who should THANK YOU for reading this hub. This made my work worth all the research, downloading, uploading, editing and good stuff that YOU also do to produce your hubs. I admire YOU and anyone who works in the service industry--especially restaurant employees. Peace.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I think that respecting the rights of other people is a lost art in today's society. I have a next door neighbor who did something to his Mustang that makes it sound like a jet engine is revving up day and night. He doesn't care and it is clear that his parents don't care. I am always pleasantly surprised when I meet someone who is respectful and polite. Up and interesting.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

I have lot of admiration and respect for those in the service industry who have to deal with the public face to face on a daily basis.

They say the customer is never wrong. The "ones" in the crowd think that gives them the right to make demands and talk down to restaurant staff and sales clerks.

It takes a special kind of person to deal with these morons.

On a lighter note, I would really love to see you in a Broadway production Kenneth, singing, telling jokes and tap dancing. On stage though, not in a restaurant. :-D

Voted up and awesome.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, breakfastpop, THANK YOU for the nice comment and sharing about the kid with the Mustang. Do not worry, one day it will come home to him. It always does when we disrespect others. And THANK YOU for the kind vote. I am humbled by your remarks and votes. Peace.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Sueswan,

You are right, dear friend. YOU drive home a great point about "those in the crowd," who take advantage and talk down to restaurant employees, help and such. Their work, as anyone in the service industry, is a thankless job and I want to do my part, in print or person, to make ONE of these special people happy. And as for the Broadway stuff, you will not believe this, but in 1993, in my hometown of Hamilton, Alabama, three friends and I formed The Kudzu Playhouse, a non-profit community theater company and performed stage productions--giving all the monies to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Cancer Society, Heart Association, and a local orphange. We kept this up until 2000 and had to disband for our members wanted to move onto other things. The lady founding member and her family moved to a town called Gardendale, near Birmingham, and she emailed me months ago and said she was now performing in a REAL, big-time theater, but would always remember Kudzu for her start. I wanted to do a one-man show called, "Sugar-Free Sugar and Other Mysteries of Life," before I got sick, but that dream has vanished. Sue, thanks so much for your kind remarks. I VALUE YOU and your thoughts very much!

Kenneth


Sueswan 5 years ago

Dear Kenneth,

I pray for a cure for a cancer and that your lost dream of performing a one man show will come true.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, DEAR Sueswan, Sincerely . . .from my heart, as always, "THANK YOU!" This is so nice. I cannot repay your nice comments. God bless you for being so thoughtful. You are a true friend and inspiration. Sincerely, Kenneth


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

Fortunately, I can truly say, that as a "daughter of the south", I appreciate good manners, and am well behaved.

I will not stand for poor service, but rather than take my frustrations, or disappointments, whatever they are, out on the cashier, waitress, stock clerk, I will wait patiently to address the manager on duty. As a manager myself, I can..." speak the lingo".

Rudeness might get you a free desert or soda, but it will resolve nothing, nor will it win you any allies.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, onegoodwoman, THANK YOU, for this honest and yet truthful comment. I love that line, 'daughter of the south,' and that sounds so cool. And I too like good manners and I too am well-behaved most of the time. And as for poor service, I have found that a civil complaint as opposed to a boisterious, threatening complaint gets me further than anything. I am not what you call a troublemaker. And onegoodwoman, THANKS! Kenneth


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

About everything you wrote in this story, I like this most- "It would serve you to learn to respect policemen . . . . and people who write articles in HubPages". Haha! This is my first read here after your profile. I was about to read first about your practical jokes and why you decided to call your pranks quits. Not everybody likes jokes especially from a stranger. You're fortunate to have a good wife and daughter who are honest with you. I love that without much pressure, you are willing to change.

You write so well my friend! You'll never shake off from your person your being "the one in every crowd", even if you quit as a joker. You'll be more interesting as a reformed man and a hubber. Peace and Congratulations!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, Lita! THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH for your warm comment. I appreicate that very MUCH! Well, I am here to say that being peaceful in public places--restaurants, stores, and such, is far better than being "in the spotlight," all the time. And yes, I must insist on people, even though sometimes I feel that I am the only one, respect firemen, policemen and EMTs and yes, Hub writers. You know as well as I do, that all Hub writers devote a lot of time and work into the hubs you and I do. And this is not a hobby, but a way of life. Sharing with others, our very life and even the misadventures we have experienced. And thank YOU so much for the compliment about my writing. Give God the praise. I am only using what He gave me when I was in the eighth grade, 1968, eons ago. And I will try to be an interesting as I can be and stay reformed. Peace to you also and a restful night. Sincerely, Kenneth

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working