On Saturday, I saw a great thing – volunteers, musicians and members of the community joined together for a great cause – raising money for Easter Seals of Central Alabama, a nonprofit organization that helps those with autism and other disabilities.
The owner of 1048 (who also owns Santa Barbara Trading Co.) was gracious enough to allow his venue to be used for the annual crawfish boil again this year. Great food, great music, great people and positivity all around.
Unfortunately, during this great event, I had the misfortune of meeting a man named “Bud,” who happens to own Jubilee Seafood and Bud’s, both in the Old Cloverdale area of Montgomery.
There are many words to describe Bud, but the most G-rated ones would be rude, angry and very unprofessional.
Here is the story:
As the band arrived to perform at the benefit on Saturday, a parking lot behind the venue was roped off. Some lady was near it and moved the rope to allow us to drive into the parking lot so we could unload our equipment. The parking lot is in front of Jubilee Seafood, which was not open yet. From what I understand, they would be opening around the time the benefit show would be ending.
We began to unload equipment when an angry Bud came walking out. Rudely, he began asking us if we saw the ropes. We explained that we did, but a lady moved it. We don’t know who the lady was.
He explained that he owned the parking lot and we had to move as soon as we finished unloading. So we finished unloading and then moved the van.
Before moving the van, I asked one of the volunteers where we could park. I was told that Bud was allowing the use of the parking lot that is directly beside 1048 for volunteers until 6 p.m. I was told that someone had just minutes before talked to him on the phone about it. So I then moved the van to that parking lot.
As I was pulling the van into that parking lot, an angry Bud again emerged from the Jubilee Seafood building. His face was almost shaking with anger as he started in on me with something like, “Didn’t I just tell you not to park here?”
I have worked in customer service before. I can understand dealing with people who are, ahem, not in the best of moods. However, as a business owner, I would have expected maybe an ounce of professionalism on his part. He did not deliver on that expectation, to say the least.
I explained that after we left the other parking lot, I had asked where we could go and was told that someone had just talked to him on the phone. Also, keep in mind that there were many other cars in the parking lot that belonged to the volunteers for the event.
While continuing to speak down to me, I politely said this (paraphrased): “Sir, we’re not trying to cause any trouble. We are volunteering our time for a good cause helping raise money at this autism event. This is our way of giving back. That’s all we’re trying to do.”
This seemed to enrage Bud as he apparently thought this was now a competition. He claimed that he has done more for autistic children than I ever have or something like that. During this exchange, he lost his cool (or what little he had to begin with) and dropped the ol’ “F-bomb” in the sentence.
That’s correct. Even though I was being polite, this local business owner decided to curse at me before telling me that this event was “pushed” on him.
You heard right – people raising money for autism prior to his business hours and hoping to be able to temporarily park in a parking lot is “pushing” on this business owner who claims to have helped autistic children. Classy, right?
At that point, I decided that I was not there to be cursed at and talked down to by a rude, vulgar low-life, and told him to step away from the van so I could move it out of his precious parking lot.
Instead of moving immediately as I had just instructed, he said, “Are you telling me to move back?!”
I’m really not sure how “Step back away from the van so I can move it out of your parking lot” can be misconstrued as anything else, but maybe along with rude and unprofessional, we can add “stupid” to his list of negatives.
So I said (paraphrasing, but admittedly, my politeness for this cretin had run its course), “Yes, move the fuck back so I can get the fuck out of your parking lot. I’m not here to be cursed at by you. You want this van gone. I’m trying to move it.”
His response, “You need to learn how to talk to people,” which is the point that my band members and friends nearby corrected him, saying, “No, YOU need to learn how to talk to people!”
For the record, we were very polite and understanding until he dropped that first “F-bomb.” At that point, we were done.
So that is why I will never spend another dime in Bud’s or Jubilee Seafood. And I encourage others to do the same.
I think our money is better spent supporting businesses, like 1048, who allow fundraising events and give back to the community.