Here is another lesson from the road. This one comes from Emporia, South Carolina with “props” going out once again to the Cracker Barrel Restaurant Chain.
I pulled in at 7:10 am and was totally unprepared to see an empty parking lot. In the many years I have frequented this chain I never had a choice of 200 parking spaces. What was up with this? Was this location going out of business? The lights appeared on. I parked in Position “A” and went in.
There was a gentleman already waiting at the hostess stand. No hostess. I lined up behind him. No hostess. We both cooled our heels. The woman behind the checkout counter made a cell phone call and a young lady popped out of the kitchen. No smile. Looking everywhere but at the two of us. In a monotone voice she asked the man in front of me, “How many?” He replied, “Just one.” “Follow me,” she muttered.
Now for those who know me (and my wife especially) this is not a wise choice of behavior to exhibit to one Mike Marchev, who makes a living noticing how mediocre our country has become.
She was heading for me. I politely began walking toward her and said, “I don’t need a menu. It is just me.” She did a quick 180 on one heel and told me to “sit wherever you like.”
Here comes the message, and here comes “The Flip.”
It was 7:10 in the morning. This gal probably wanted to be 1000 places other than at the hostess stand. She might even be coming off an argument with her husband, boy friend or significant other. Although none of these was my problem, I greeted her tableside with a smile along with my request for two small pancakes. She smiled in return.
From that moment on she was another friendly woman from the south. Pleasant and fun to work with.
My first impression was a little shy of awful. My last impression was a good one. She was indeed a nice person, but she definitely started on the wrong foot.
What foot are you starting with? For your own benefit, it must be a good one. No one cares about your problems. You can’t expect them to. All they care about is there pancakes.
I know you are a nice person. You know you are a nice person. Now, you must tell everybody else. Not with your words … but with your actions.
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