I ran through a Culver's drive-through last week, to pick up lunch for myself and a friend, and the young lady that brought the food to my car announced with great confidence, "Here you go! A cranberry-bleu salad and some onion rings!"
I stuttered a second before noting "Oh...I ordered a garden salad, but this will be fine."
Without skipping a beat she said "It is a garden salad. I'm practicing memorizing orders. It's not going too well."
I was laughing when I drove off, but the exchange has stayed with me.
Because you know what?
Get it, girl!
You didn't get it right this time, but here's what I see in you, young lady:
- Someone who is determined to do a good job.
- Someone willing to practice what she's trying to master.
- Someone brave enough to take a shot, out-loud, in front of a customer.
- Someone who's immediately accountable for her mistake.
- Someone who can communicate her intentions, and clear up a misunderstanding.
- Someone with spirit and courage, who doesn't let a little mistake shut her down.
I'm impressed. Food service is hard, hard work in the best of times, and this isn't the best of times for any restaurant or server. People are impatient and demanding to employees who are doing the best they can in understaffed kitchens and dining rooms. This kid is busting her behind running orders out to a busy parking lot in 90-degree heat and humidity, doing her job and memorizing her little heart out. I hope her bosses realize what they have in her.
I could stand to take a page or two out of her playbook. This girl didn't beat herself up or put herself down; she was just going to try again with the next customer. Instead of calling myself an idiot at my next slip-up or minor failure, I think I'll try to just think of it as a garden-salad moment, and get on with the improvement at hand.