“Even a monster backs off when one feeds it lovingly.”

-Laurent Carrel, Messages from Melanie

image from Photobucket by Seldric

image from Photobucket by Seldric

Over 40 years ago, I worked my way through school as a “Deli Man” at a popular restaurant in Philadelphia called Jacks. I earned a whopping $36 for my 12-hour, Saturday night shift.

Saturday was the busiest day of the week, since many customers were purchasing ingredients for the traditional Sunday brunches held in the neighborhood.

One day, I noticed that all the other Deli Men had taken their 30-minute breaks just as a particular customer came to the counter. They left me with the woman they called “The Deli Monster,” because she was never satisfied and complained about everything.

Somewhere along the line, I had heard someone say “kill them with kindness,” so I determined to meet and exceed her every desire. She practically adopted me, and I became her favorite Deli Man for the rest of my time at the restaurant!


Who are some of the monsters that terrorize your personal and professional worlds?
Where would a kinder, more loving approach do the trick and have them back off as well as become a friend or ally?