Last night I delivered a lecture on ethics in law enforcement to the Granbury Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association. During the course of the presentation I cautioned the group about accepting discounts at restaurants, because of their association with the police department. Little did I know at the time what was going to take place this morning?
I joined my usual Friday morning breakfast group at the Firehouse Café bright and early today. Robert has been waiting on our table for several years now. He knows fully well that my breakfast cuisine preferences are not predictable like some of my comrades. This morning he kept telling me to order anything I wanted! (I always do. Why would today be any different?)
He finally told me that my breakfast was on the house today. Why, I asked? He informed me that the comments I made in my sermon about the Firehouse Café last Sunday morning triggered an unusually large lunch crowd for them that day. At first I had no clue what he was talking about and then it hit me…
Last Sunday I shared a story with the church about the police department calling me to assist them with two elderly men who were homeless during the summer of 2009. It was a pitiful situation. The two brothers were living in their car. One of them was an amputee suffering from diabetes. They were “panhandling” in the Walmart parking lot, which is not allowed. The police were called. The officer working the call felt compassionate toward the elderly brothers, so she called me to assist. We bought them lunch at Wendy’s, a few simple groceries at Walmart, and a tank of gas. I stressed to them that Granbury simply did not have the resources they needed for temporary housing and food.
In my sermon, I made the point that I had considered stopping that same summer morning at the Firehouse Café for the best breakfast taco known to man. I described in detail how scrumptious their tacos are for breakfast. My point was simple. I had choices that morning. I could enjoy a breakfast taco or I could stay home and eat a granola bar. Why I was debating my options there were two homeless guys down at Walmart wondering if they were going to eat at all!
Of course I had no idea that my dramatic description of a breakfast taco was causing people in the audience to crave the home-style cooking unique to the Firehouse. Think again. They left church and headed straight to the Firehouse Café without passing Go or collecting $200.00. Quite naturally Angela, a long time friend, who manages the restaurant, was exuberant.
I have been thinking about the whole thing today. I wondered if they got the point of the sermon, of if derailed my purposes by engaging their taste buds. I will use caution before I foster cravings in my audience again! I was also reminded that words are powerful. It would behoove all of to be very cautious in what was say. You never know what kind of situation you are creating!
I enjoyed my free breakfast this morning. And it was a legitimate free breakfast. There were no ethical breaches. Oh and by the way…I ordered the taco. It was great! Thanks for treating me Angela and Robert!