The other day while falling down the rabbit hole also known as the internet I stumbled upon the website for Simantel which is a local marketing business. Something I read there kind of bothered me and below is that something.
I’ve highlighted the two sentences that particularly disturbed me. They admit that they don’t have a ping pong table and then claim that they will work with a client and “handle your problems as if they are our own.” Well, from where I stand, Simantel’s biggest problem seems to be the fact that they don’t have a ping pong table! And they don’t seem to have the wherewithal to correct that problem. So how are they going to solve anyone else’s problems if they don’t even know how to get a ping pong table? I decided to come to the rescue, because that's what I do. I went over to Amazon and found this.
It’s a tabletop ping pong game and I think it would be perfect for their office and so I purchased it and decided to present it to Simantel to solve their ping pong problem. I was trying to figure out a good time to present Simantel with this ping pong table when I happened to go to their facecrack page on Monday and I watched a video about a snack villain in their office.
It was pretty funny, so I left this comment.
And then it hit me: I could go there and do a “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here” segment and buy something from their snack box for dessert and have some fun with that. And then I could present the ping pong game to the company and everyone’s problems will be solved and we can all live happily ever after!
I’ve struck out the last four times I’ve tried to do this “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here,” you can see those posts, here, here, here and here. From the video it looks like the people at Simantel like to have fun, so let’s go and see if I can eat my lunch in there and give them a much-needed ping pong table and have a few laughs while doing all of this!
The first stop on these “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” segments is always Khaki Jack’s. Usually Tony who owns Khaki Jack’s adds a fun little note, but he’s got the flu, so I guess this will be the only note we see today! Hope you feel better soon, Tony! Okay, the lunch has been expertly handed off by Chuck, it’s now in the MBIP Moblie so and it’s off we go!
I didn’t write the address for Simantel down because I saw it’s located on Water Street and figured it would be easy to spot. Well, like so many other times in my life, I figured wrong! I drove up and down Water Street looking for a sign that said, “Simantel” on it and didn’t see one. Finally I pulled over and called Simantel. I asked the woman who answered where their business was located and she told me it was at 321 Water Street. I asked her if they had a sign on the building and this was her reply: “Oh, no, there’s not a sign outside.” I asked why and she said she didn’t know. So I drove over and here we are at a marketing company without a ping pong table and any outside signage. Well, I bought them the ping pong table but I’m not springing for an outside sign. Hopefully they can figure that one out themselves! Let’s go in and see if we can eat our lunch in here and present them with their brand-spanking new ping pong table!
When you walk in the door, then you see the Simantel sign. Maybe this is some new trend in marketing that I don’t know about, but I think it’s kind of goofy, but again, what do I know? Well, I do know that if you have a business it’s a pretty good idea to put a sign outside, but I’m not going to obsess over that...okay, I probably will. Okay, I’m never going to let it go!
There was another sign that said that the reception area is right up the stairs and that’s where I went and that’s where things went about as wrong for the “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here?” segment as they can go.
I met the receptionist and she was very nice and friendly and laughed about me eating lunch in there and I told her I also had something to present to the company. She told me that a lot of people were in all-day meetings and she wasn’t sure about the lunch thing. It started to get kind of awkward but that was just the beginning.
Now I don’t know if she buzzed someone or if he just happened to be walking by, but soon a gentleman in a suit and tie was standing there next to the reception desk. I asked if he was the owner of Simantel and he told me that he was, “one of them.”
He didn’t offer a name and just kind of stood there smiling at me, kind of like I was a mental patient. I've gotten that look before, so I told him about the lunch thing I do on the blog and asked if they had a lunch room in the building. He told me they had a “cafe area” in the back. I resisted to the urge to say, “well, la de da,” and asked if I could go back there and eat my lunch, take some pictures and then I could give a little presentation to some of the employees.
He kept smiling and said there were a lot of meetings going on. So I suggested maybe I could quickly eat lunch and then give him the thing I brought and he said he had a meeting he had to go to very shortly. Well you could cut the awkwardness at this point but you would need a very large and an extremely sharp knife to do so.
One of my most horrible memories is from high school when I asked a girl out on a date and she looked at me, paused a beat and then just started laughing. I hate remembering that sickening, humiliating moment in time and that’s exactly how I felt with this guy smiling weirdly at me as I'm asking to eat my lunch in there and give his company a present. So I said, “Well, maybe I should just come back some other time.” He continued smiling and said that was a "very good idea" and then he walked away.
I thanked the receptionist and said I’d note on the blog that she was very nice and she was. I also made a mental note on when I would be returning to the signless Simantel offices and I think it’ll be about seven weeks after hell freezes over, so stay tuned for that! Now I needed to do the walk of shame down the stairs and figure out where to go to eat my lunch.
I walked outside and almost immediately I saw a sign. A sign on the outside of a building...what a concept! The sign is above the window of Running Central, which is a store I love, even though the only times I’ve run in my life has been from the cops. It’s really a cool store and I bet they have a lunch room in there. But will I be able to eat in it? I went in and asked a nice fellow who was working there and he said he’d go back and ask Adam, the owner if it would be okay. It didn’t take long and this was the answer...
That’s the best thumb’s up I’ve ever seen. The smiling fellow who’s delivering it is Brian and we met back when I first visited Tannins & Hops! Great to see him again and he led me back to their lunch room! Success at last! He said to make myself at home and give a shout if I needed anything. Very nice! Before we eat, let’s take a look around in here, I love looking at lunch rooms!
It’s very comfortable in here and the crazy sign is hilarious! One thing I like to do is check out the microwave oven because sometimes they can be a little frightening. This one is spotless and check out the inside of the fridge! Very clean and orderly, they have an impressive lunch room in here. And now, it’s time to eat because by now I am starvin’ like you know who!
Since I was alone back there I took a selfie of myself and my lunch. I got the Bison Burger and Aussie fries and I love this burger. It’s served on a toasted bakery fresh pretzel bun and like everything at Khaki Jack’s, it’s so tasty and delicious! Another thing that’s really cool about Khaki Jack’s is that they have a sign outside that says, “Khaki Jack’s!” I wonder if Tony thought of that or if he hired some ad wizard who suggested the inventive and outrageous outside business signage idea. (I told you I was never going to let it go!)
As I was finishing up lunch, Adam White who owns Running Central with his wife, Marie came back and said hi. He said he felt bad I was sitting there all alone and came back to chat. How nice is that? We had a really fun conversation about Peoria, New York, writing, magazines, downtown, business, business signs...I gotta let that go, but I know I won’t! At one point I said that they had treated me so nice that I’d like to present him and some of his employees with what I was originally going to give to Simantel.
Adam quickly assembled a group and I presented them with the ping pong table and they were really thrilled with it and said they’d make good use of it! Adam said that the folks at Simantel are more than welcome to stop by anytime and use it! A ping pong table really belongs in a lunch room rather than a “cafe area,” so everybody wins! They had to get back to work and Adam said I was free to walk around and take a look around and hang out in the store so I decided to take a little tour and you’re more than welcome to join me!
The Running Central Tour
Running Central is the name of the store and that name is a little deceptive if you’ve never been in here. Of course there are shoes and running apparel and devices, but there’s so much more. They have a large inventory of clothing, blankets, hats and more all housed in this gorgeous store.
The store is huge and really designed and decorated nicely. There’s a lot of brick and wood with interesting art and paintings on the walls and comfortable chairs located for lounging if you get a little weary from shopping in here. I love the orange sectional! I might just move in here!
The whole store is impressive but the back wall is unlike anything you’ll see in Peoria or beyond. I love how all the shoes are lit up on display with the running man all a-glow in the center. There’s a mural of downtown Peoria above it and the story behind that is so unbelievable and cool, I’m going to do a separate blog on that in about a month. So stay tuned for that!
I thought it only fitting to end with...a business sign! Thanks to Adam and all of the friendly employees at Running Central for letting me eat lunch in there and presenting them with their new ping pong table! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
7221 N. Allen Road
311 SW Water Street (First Floor)