What is the longest you have waited for someone before you start to get annoyed or even worried? Sure, you’ve followed all the experts’ advice – When you must wait, occupy your time with some reading, needlepoint, or crossword puzzles. However, when there is that one particular person who keeps you waiting all the time, how much reading, needlepoint, and crossword puzzles can you do? There is no emergency. She isn’t stuck in traffic. She’s just late. And, when she arrives, she nonchalantly says, “Hey girl.” No apologies, no excuses, just “Hey girl.” Inside you are boiling, but with a half-baked smile you reply, “Well, it’s about time!”
It is about time. It is always about time. Everything we do is connected to time. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if the earth’s rotation around the sun changed by a few hours every other day or every other week? Can you imagine the chaos airlines would experience if each pilot took off at will? Or, can you imagine what a disaster your dinner party would be if you decided a 20-minute recipe should cook another 20 minutes?
Now that we’ve put time in perspective, let’s consider why we treat this precious resource with such little respect. I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons – Our attitude and our choice of words (which of course affects our attitude).
Attitude: It has been said, life is 10% of what happens to us, and 90% is our attitude towards what happens to us. The same problem may affect two individuals. However, you will get two different reactions. It is no different with time. We each have the same 24 hours in a day – every day. Yet, some get things done. Others don’t. It has a lot to do with how time is viewed. Is time viewed as the enemy? There’s just never enough time. You can’t find the time. Time runs out. Time escapes you. If that is your view, then time is the enemy. On the other hand, however, time is a friend when it is viewed as an asset, your most important resource, and money in the bank.
Choice of words: Many experts refer to disorganization, people interrupting, the telephone, paper mail, email, and all things social media as time bandits, or time stealers. If they are time bandits and that is our thinking, that means our time was taken without our permission. We are the innocent victims. Here’s a news flash! There are no time bandits. Bandits usually take things without a person’s knowledge. However, we know when we’ve stayed on the phone too long. We know when we’ve stayed at the water cooler too long. We also know we did not plan our day properly so now that report is a day late. What might be a better choice of words? Time wasters. And, who is wasting the time? We are. When we change our choice of words, we in effect change our way of thinking.
What do you think about time?
And oh yeah, about that friend who keeps you waiting- let her know that you are giving her a grace period of no more than 15 minutes past the agreed time to meet, and if she hasn’t shown up, you’re leaving. “Bye, girl!”
A man walked into a fast food restaurant and ordered fries. The cashier turned to him and asked, “Do you want fries with that?” Or, what about the one where the cashier asked, “Is that to go or to take out?”
Fast food restaurants have served as the butt of many mindless jokes. We paint some of the employees as bimbos, stupid, or out to lunch. While some of the workers do make us wonder, however, some of the most needed skills in today’s workplace are developed in your more popular fast food restaurants.
I say this from experience. My very first job was in a fast food restaurant. Mickey D’s. Or, as most like to call it – McDonald’s. This was in Spartanburg, SC.
I can remember getting my working papers at age fourteen. I was excited. I went straight to McDonald’s and applied for a job. I was hired. I made $1.60 per hour. (It was the early 70’s. What can I say?) While it was not a Kodak moment, it was truly a heads up chest out moment. For, I was a working girl!
While working at McDonald’s, I developed some of the most crucial skills needed to succeed in the workplace. We were taught discipline, teamwork, leadership skills, excellent customer service, and stamina, to name a few. Today, companies will pay top dollar for their employees to learn many of these skills. How did McDonald’s do it? It was through hands on experience.
We were working as team players long before it became a catch phrase for today’s working world. I worked the cash register. (This was during the time when there were no pictures on the cash register to represent the amount of the product. And, neither did the cash register tell you how much change to give). To speed up checkout, I also worked the crowd. I greeted them and took their orders. I mopped the floors, and I flipped burgers. We all did it.
Some of us had the responsibility along with the manager to open for breakfast at seven o’clock in the morning, on weekends, in the dead of winter, when I wanted to sleep. But, I had a responsibility. Therefore, while my cousins slept, I went to work.
Oftentimes the manager scheduled me to close. Closing meant working until 11:00 p.m. during the week or until 12:00 midnight on weekends. In the area of discipline that meant two things, my homework had to be done before I went to work, and everything in McDonald’s had to be cleaned and put away before I went home. True Grit, I say.
Working four to six hours each work day, taught us stamina. It taught us to stay with a project until it was completed. There was no cutting out early or hiding out while someone else did your work. We pulled together.
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
In addition to greeting the customers with a smile, we also greeted the regulars by their name. We would make small talk. We would ask them about their families or talk about the weather. Remember, we were teenagers doing this. It was customer service at its best.
As we demonstrated our abilities to take the lead, we were given the responsibility to train new employees, do inventory, and speak on behalf of the younger employees.
When I moved on from McDonald’s, and applied for a job with a very reputable company in New York City, I was very proud to put McDonald’s on my resume. They obviously saw more than ‘fries with that’, because I was hired. So, the next time you walk into a fast food restaurant and the cashier asks, “Do you want fries with that?” Remember, she is in training to succeed as a leader, a manager, or a future franchise owner.