Saturday, February 9, 2008

Access and Cachet

One of my clichés when people ask me why I carry cash in this age of credit cards is: “Because at the end of the day there’s no better travel agent than Benjamin Franklin.” I believe that, and there are times, like last night, when the cash money talks in a way that the credit card never will.

My buddy Dan called me late last afternoon and asked if I wanted to get dinner with him and his co-worker Albert. Dan and Al are good guys, and word on the street is that Dan had recently broken up with his girlfriend of a couple of years. I said sure, and asked where they were going. Dan said he’d had a craving for Robertson’s for a few weeks and nothing short of Robertson’s would do. He suggested we meet there at 7:00.

Now, I know from experience that Robertson’s is a hot-spot for dinner on the weekends, and they don’t take reservations for parties smaller than four. When I pulled into the parking lot and saw the number of cars there, I knew we were in for a long wait, and I didn’t feel like waiting; I was hungry.

I took a $20.00 bill from my wallet, folded it in quarters, and put it in my front pocket. I walked in, worked my way through the crowd, and found Dan and Al, who had just gotten there as well. We walked up to the host, and Dan told him we had a party of three. He informed us that they were fully booked with reservations until 8:30, but he would put our name down and we would be in the queue with the other folks, behind the ones that had gotten there before us. I saw the look of disappointment on Dan’s face. I thanked the host, shook his hand, discreetly slipped him the $20, and told him that we would wait at the bar, and if there was anything he could do to minimize our wait, we would appreciate it. We weren’t at the bar long enough to even order our first drink, when he approached us and told us that our table was ready.

Dan and Al bought my dinner as a thanks for that moment of élan. $20 well greased will open doors for you. But it’s all about doing it right. I’m a firm believer that any gentleman worth his salt should know when, where, and how to grease a palm. It just makes life easier.


Andi said...

OMG, your life really is like a movie! I'm impressed.

Jack Gordon said...

For the better part of a year once, I explored what I could get for $20 and where. It was pretty fun, and you'd be surprised how far Andrew Jackson can get you!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I don't think I could pull that off.

Jamm-o-rama said...

I have never tried that. I probably couldn't swing it either. I'm not very suave. Of course, I don't really mind sitting at the bar waiting and drinking. Usually that's part of the fun.

Jack Gordon said...

T-bee and jamm-o, I wonder if the dynamic may be different if you're a girl? It may not be, but note I said every gentleman, and not everybody . . . it's like carrying a handkerchief, or leading a dance . . . core competencies for guys, but girls get a pass. Plus, I'm sure you have the ability to get a guy to buy you a drink at a bar, but I don't.