Over twenty-one years ago, my wife and I married. Then, as now, the country was in a recession. But I had a good job working at a bank.
Until, three months after we were married, I didn’t.
This came immediately following a President’s Day weekend trip to visit my dad in California. For three weeks, I looked for work, and found nothing.
But then Chick-fil-A was there for me. The income may not have been at quite the same level as my previous job, but it was income. I of course continued to look for other work while employed there, and eventually added a second job at a portrait studio. Which came about because the manager of the studio had seen me at Chick-fil-A, sampling chicken.
Yes, I was the “chicken hawk,” standing in front of a mall location, enticing passersby with delicious golden fried goodness. It may not have been my dream job, but I embraced it. Having had some training in television commercial acting, I added some theatricality to it, made it a performance. (Which as a shy introvert I had to do–I had to make it a role, rather than see it as me standing out there passing out chicken).
Among the most fun things I declaimed:
“You deserve a break today–so eat at Chick-fil-A!”
My boss of course quickly put the kibosh on that, saying that he’d rather not be sued. 😉
Among the more interesting things I heard from customers enjoying samples:
“Almost as good as eating p***y.” I wish I was making that up, but it happened. Who says something like that to a complete stranger?
But I digress.
I eventually left portrait photography–where I was decent at taking pictures, but abysmal at selling them–and found another job, while continuing to work for Chick-fil-A in the evenings.
In the fullness of time, I moved on from all things chicken, finally after almost two years of trying, when I landed a full time job with another company. But when things were tight for my wife and I, and because I’d left on good terms, Chick-fil-A took me back.
And you know what? Despite the bifurcated nature of my service, I qualified for their college scholarship!
When they say Chick-fil-A cares, they mean it! They took care of me, and my family, in a time when we really needed it, and will always have a soft spot in my heart because of it.
How about you? Do you eat at Chick-fil-A? How have your experiences been?
PS: With regards to the recent kerfuffle, all I can say is, having worked there, knowing something of the hearts of the people who run the organization, I’m certain there was no malicious intent. Mr. Cathy’s convictions are borne out of a lifelong, deeply held faith. If he disagrees on the definition of marriage, he does so respectfully, with nothing but love for those on the other side of this cultural divide.
My take is this: his views are his own, and he is entitled to them. Just as others are entitled to their’s. My experience while working there was that, while it was a business started and run by Christians, it was nevertheless a business. Although we were indeed closed on Sundays, if we were going to have a staff meeting, it would be on a Sunday. Because that was the only day when all of us were available to meet.