January 25, 2007

I am a winner!

The other day at work, I answered my phone and was greeted by a very cheery voice that informed me my business card had been chosen from countless others in a drawing to win a free lunch at Hobee’s. Hobee’s? I LOVE Hobee’s! And so do my friends.

For those of you unfamiliar with Hobee’s, all you need to know about the dining establishment is that they have the best damn blueberry coffeecake, in the whole, wide world. The coffeecake is the reason that no matter what time I eat at Hobee’s, I always order breakfast. I don’t care it it’s dinner time, I get breakfast. 2 pm? Time for breakfast! Sometimes I order a pan of coffeecake to take to out of town friends I visit. They are as overjoyed to see the sweet crunchy topping in the flimsy aluminum pan, as they are to see me. I’ve gotten a tray of it for a baby shower brunch, and oops! did I order too much? Don’t worry, I’ll take the leftovers away for you! To my house. To surround myself in it. Naked. (Oh, TMI, huh?) But it truly is so very delicious. (You may have gathered that.)

Anyway, on my last visit to Hobee’s (for a noontime breakfast), I threw my business card in with the others in the fishbowl by the register. I am not lucky. I never win anything. But I figured, “what the hell, it’s just a business card. I can spare it. I have 500 of them.” I was driven by the prospect of complimentary blueberry coffeecake goodness.

But I never thought I’d win! Holy Toledo! The minute I heard the happy news, I already knew who I’d take with me. My girlfriends. My girlfriends go to Hobee’s with me all the time and also get very excited about blueberry coffeecake.

The gentleman on the phone enthusiastically suggested I pick a day in the next couple of weeks to bring my friends to Hobee’s…for our free(!) meal. He was very excited. And then…his tone turned cheesy. And then a little smarmy.

He then told me the details of my free lunch:

“I will meet you and your group at the restaurant at 11:30 AM and will then guide you to our reserved table.” Uhm…our table? Don’t you mean your table?

“I will introduce myself and answer any questions you have on my role as a Personal Financial Advisor with Name of Company Who Wants to Play with Your Money.” And then we will high-tail it outta there to go next door and get Hostess Blueberry Pies from the convenience store.

“I can answer general financial questions if asked,” (Dude, no one will ask. We are there to eat. And we like to eat without hearing you talk), “and then ask for your comments and feedback.” Here’s a comment. Leave us alone to eat, please.

“After that you will order and I will pay for the lunch and tip (one entree per person, please).” So, the lunch, technically, is free, and actually, you owe us something. That hour you took from our lives.

So you see, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

But if you are taunted by a free lunch offer on a colorful little jar near a register, read the fine print. Like, if it says “Not endorsed by Hobee’s,” you probably should just take that business card and drop it in the nearby trashcan. Because really? It’s a better use of your time.

5 people have roominated about “I am a winner!”

  • *gasp!*

    Was it Meri-aay Rise-pay??! I got a free lunch from them! Once he went into his schtick on the phone I deliberated for a second, but hey. Free food at my favorite Mexican place! Matt was, at the time, still a grad student and our friends were as well – we made a motley group and I told the dude that between us we had a lifetime savings of $10.51 and a few dried peas, and that at 29 and 30, we really weren’t into the whole “saving” or “wealth investment” thing.

    Good food, though. But awkward, as he was sitting a few tables over. It was a little weird.

  • Alison says:

    Oh jeez, that sucks. Rasafrackin’ frickin frockers.

  • Jenni says:

    Man, that sucks!

  • Jeff's Place says:

    Just NOT FAIR!!
    They do have THE BEST coffeecake in the Whole Wide World!
    High Hat Hashbrowns anyone?

  • meredith says:

    At least he told you upfront. What if you had shown up and he was at your table, all smiles and schtick? I would ask Hobee’s why they allow that. I would not let some cheesy sales guy put a bad spin on how customers feel about my restaurant.

roominate on this yourself