Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dallas Connection With a Smile

So I am in Dallas the early part of this week presenting the Ripple at The Contingent Workforce Summit. One of my favorite places to eat while in Dallas is S&D Oyster Company. It's a must have every single time I come to Dallas.

Well I came in yesterday and despite the cold and the rain, I ventured from my posh hotel digs at The Fairmont Hotel to head over for a late lunch. I am so glad that I did.

I always talk about people coming into our lives for a reason. Here I am in Dallas to share with some of the most recognizable names in the country why the power of connection is so important and life just had to remind me that even Mr. Ripple has to be reminded of this very important and critical lesson sometimes.

I love eating at the S&D Oyster Company for a variety of reasons: great food, occasional celebrity sightings, the wonderful ambiance and the outstanding service. It's an amazing spot nestled in a really interesting part of Dallas and of course me being a people watcher, I get an interesting show every time I come.

Well yesterday I had come into Dallas late and missed the majority of the lunch crowd. At first I was disappointed as the restaurant had only a handful of tables taken. I was promptly shown to a small table near the inside wall. My mouth watered with the anticipation of their specialty cocktail sauce that they make right at the table for the incredible oysters they serve. My stomach growled with anticipation as I downed my last oyster and waited for their specialty BBQ shrimp to arrive.

As I sat there and munched on my in-between appetizer of coleslaw, I noticed a gentlemen sitting next to me. He had ordered the exact same thing as I had and had a look of equal satisfaction on his face. As I surveyed his table our eyes met and I saluted him with my water glass and he did the same.

"Great food they have here don't you think?" he asked me.

"Absolutely. I so love this place," I remarked with noticeable enthusiasm.

He smiled. He was an older gentlemen maybe somewhere in his late seventies or early eighties.

He asked me if I was from Dallas and I explained that I was here for a conference. He asked with great interest about the conference and, I just loved the Ripple-esq quality of the question, "what I hoped to learn from it."

I explained that I hoped to learn as much as I could teach and went on to relay that I was one of the presenters. He was interested in my unique approach and peppered me with questions about the Ripple and how I had come up with such a concept at such a young age. I appreciate the compliment more than you could know.

And so the conversation went, two men from very different ages engaged in cross table conversation enjoying both the company, the atmosphere and the connection.

It seems my new friend, Charles comes to S&D Oyster Company fairly regularly. He is retired and comes intentionally late to miss the lunch crowd. I explained I love the lunch crowd and was disappointed that I missed it because of the people watching I get to do. He really seemed to like my approach to watching the crowd and said he may have to change his thinking and try enjoying people, not considering them an annoyance.

He tipped his pretend hat as he got up from the table and asked me for my card which I gave to him of course. "I am not much into computers but if I can remember how to turn mine on, I promise to check out your website."

We shook hands as if old friends and agreed that maybe our paths would again one day cross.

As I settled my bill the young lady at the cash register asked me the oddest question:

"How did you get Charlie to talk?" To which my expression of surprise by her question was followed by, "I mean Charlie doesn't talk to anyone."

"I just smiled at him and we both found connection in your great food," I said.

"You know that guy is probably only two or three steps below Mark Cuban and Ross Perot."

"Steps?" I asked.

"Yep," she said as she handed me my change, "He's one of the richest guys in all of Dallas. And in all of the time in working here, I have never seen him talk to a soul. Seems nice but he must have liked you to actually talk. I think we've all tried and nada...zilch."

"A smile," she asked "really?" She said it more in disbelief than anything. "Well isn't that something." She smiled and walked off to seat an older couple who came in the front door.

I laughed to myself as I looked at his vacated table....

"I hear you," I told my imaginary conscience. Even the Ripple man needs a reminder every now and again. Yes I know that you never know who will cross your path in life. And yes, it is so true.

So Charlie, if you ever do find my website and my BLOG, lunch is on me next time and maybe we could sit at the same table for a spell. I really enjoyed the company.

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper


Anji said...

What an amazing story with which to illustrate your ideas!

you are amazing said...

That is so beautiful!!!

You will have many more of these to come...I look forward to hearing about them..



more bliss to you - friend

Smiles from
Samvida Judge-Willis

MagnumVox said...

Go, go, go master Rippler!!!!!

I'm proud of you, Bro, for the amazing way you lead by example!!!!!

Ripple On!!!!!

Steve Harper said...

Thanks Anji!

Have a great weekend!


Steve Harper said...


Thank you so much for your comment. I truly appreciate the props from across the pond!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Steve Harper said...

Thanks Prince! I truly appreciate your support and all the encouragement you give me. It means more to me than you could possibly imagine.

Ripple On My Brother From Another Mother!