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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Service is Important, but Don't be a Service Nazi

I was at dinner with my son on Saturday evening. We went to a local restaurant where we hadn't eaten in a while.

The restaurant was fairly empty and we were seated pretty fast. Then, however, it took a couple of minutes for our server to start with us and that didn't make any sense because things seemed quiet. I started getting a little irritated and said, "if we get to 5 minutes of waiting, we're out of here"; my son said, "Calm down. We're not in a rush and everything is fine." Turns out he was right. Once our server got to us (about a minute later) he gave us great service and our food was pretty good, too.

I've spent a lot of the last few years being a fanatic about service, about wowing the customer and working to give them a world-class experience.

The downside is that I can often be looking for what's wrong. I remember asking a doctor one time why he was always so negative and he told me, "because I've been taught to look for what's wrong". I think this may have been happening to me some lately. I've been looking so hard for someone to either wow me...or conversely to piss me off (and the "piss me off" part of the chart is way bigger than the "wow me" part), that I am sometimes forgetting to relax and let things be ok.

Service is fact, it's very important. Still, we have to keep things in perspective and we don't have to be evil, pissy Nazis about service.

Again, we have to think about what's reasonable.

Enjoy your dinner.

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