A lesson in providing value.
“Philly cheese steak near me!” I barked into my phone a midst the crowded lobby of the Independence Hall visitors center.
Time was running out before my plane would depart and I’d be shuttled to the airport. There had to be a place near by were I could get the genuine article of the city of brotherly love, the cheese steak.
I was quickly sidled by a middle aged guy. “Hey, a great place for a cheese steak is just a few blocks down.” I looked at my phone for confirmation, both in the location as well as the aggregate of google reviews. “Sonny’s Famous?” I replied. He said, “Yeah, that’s it. Good steaks there.” I looked up to see my girlfriend’s mom, Susan, looking on.
I turned and thanked him for the quick tip.
Noticing his captive audience, he turned to Susan and said, “You hear about that restaurant, Over The Moon.”
She looked at him sideways and replied, “No.” He quipped, “The place has no atmosphere but the food is out of this world.”
As the chuckles and smiles peaked he said in a solemn voice, “Hey, I’m homeless and hungry. If you can pass along a few bucks it would truly be appreciated.”
Susan reached into her wallet and pulled out a wad of ones and handed it to the destitute chap.
Up until that point, I had no idea he was homeless. I’m not sure that he actually was. There was no way to verify that.
A lot of folks preach that you have to “offer value” or “exchange value for value”. I’m not convinced that these pontiffs truly know the meaning. Usually they’re just trying to sell you something you don’t need.
I appreciated this guys effort to create “value” by solving a problem. I also admired his creativity by adding a joke he likely stole from a lounge comedian from the 70s. Rimshot!
Bottom line, he didn’t try to sell me a solution to a problem I didn’t have.
P.S. The cheese steak was great.