Kids and adults like Chuck E. Cheese for very different reasons. That was certainly the case with us when we went to the Chuck E. Cheese at King’s Crossing on route 1 back on July 18.
We were on our way back home after having dropped off my husband at the metro. We had no concrete plans that day except to cool off at home. On a whim, we stopped by at Chuck E. Cheese, but it was too early. It opened at 9:00 a.m., but we were there at 8:30. We hung out in our car for a while until five minutes to 9:00 a.m.
We got our stroller ready and headed in. My 20-month old was excited, my 6 year-old was bouncing around already, and I had my gift card ready for the day’s adventures. I had no expectations of this visit other than to have as much fun as possible.
Well let’s just say that the fun quotient multiplied by 100 as soon as we walked through the door. We were greeted by one of the male managers who told me casually “She can take all those. They’re gonna be thrown out, anyway.” That message was pretty cryptic, but my 6 year-old understood perfectly, without further translation.
As we entered, my eyes were drawn immediately to the floor, which was positively littered with trash, empty cups, tokens, toys, and more, with hardly any carpet showing. My daughter didn’t see the garbage, but her keen eyes did see the tickets that were hanging out of every single machine!
And then, I suddenly understood what the manager was trying to tell me. It clicked! The tickets were ours. All we had to do was grab them! Well, that was enough for the three of us to go crazy. Thank God I had my stroller, because I was popping wheelies on that thing as I navigated quickly and expertly around the sharp bends of the machines and games like a little kid in a candy store, helping my 6 year-old snatch the Chuck E. Cheese tickets as quickly as possible.
My 20 month-old, who was only 15 months at the time, didn’t understand what all the commotion was about, but she sure enjoyed us running around like crazy! At the end of our spree, we went to cash in our tickets and saw that we had collected almost 800, which was enough to get a small flower purse that my daughter had been eying.
Our experience on July 18 is one perfect example of the polar opposite of corporate greed. If corporate greed had been present that day, the manager could have easily asked his staff to clean up everything quickly before the doors opened to the public. Instead, he was easygoing about it and even smiled when he told me I could have “those,” referring to the tickets.
I was so absolutely touched by this manager’s generosity, that, after our initial excitement had cooled off, I went looking for him to thank him for what he had done for us. I found out his name and his exact title. I told him I was so thankful and appreciative of his kind gesture that I absolutely had to take his picture and send it to the Chuck E. Cheese corporate headquarters, along with a heartfelt note of thanks and description of what he had done for our grateful family.
The manager politely refused, and when he specifically mentioned that I “don’t have to say that you (I) got the free tickets,” I understood that he was trying to protect his own job and avoid problems. Perhaps what this manager did was not considered standard practice? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I took this manager’s action as one of kindness and sincerity. It was such a simple gesture, to tell us we could “have all those,” but to me, it was a big deal. It made my daughter very happy! And that, my friends, is the key to having a successful business. Want the parents to shop? Make the kids happy and you’ll have customers for life. This manager understood that concept very well.
This just goes to show that even large companies such as Chuck E. Cheese do have hearts. I think that deep down, companies do care about people, despite the significant amounts of negative press that seem to be published more often than any good, charitable deeds.
It is rare to read about good things that companies do, because everyone is stuck with a reality-television-train-wreck mentality, where they see an accident and rubberneck to see the drama unfold. Well this case is different. And since I’m in the mood to be grateful, I am happy to express a deep and sincere gratitude to the male manager at the Chuck E. Cheese at King’s Crossing on route 1.
Out of respect for this manager, I am not publishing his name or a description of him, but he knows who he is and he already knows I made a big fuss about his kindness. More importantly, God knows who the manager is, too, and he will reward the manager appropriately. Who knows, maybe with a pay raise?
What are you thankful for today? I hope you will share your thoughts below!