Let's Talk Work

because there are two sides to every story

Observations in a Workplace

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Not my workplace, but others that I visit – observed too often these days.


Out for a late dinner the other evening at a family-oriented place, we were greeted by a hostess that turned out to be our server. Happy-go-lucky at first, sometimes a bit presumptuous but whatever. As the place was closing in about an hour, we were one of only two tables being served. Our server continued to skip around, making assumptions about our choices, telling us about all her kids at home., joking with another couple about a spill, etc.

Suddenly, the mood changed. A personality shift. More people were coming in – suddenly there was 5 tables. The Hostess/Server was the only one to handle all this end-of-night activity, other than a busser and whatever staff was left in the kitchen. Our server was not scheduled to close that night, but management let others go early because business was slow. Our server had a babysitter to release and pay out. Now she was upset. Upset because the babysitter was going to cost her far more; upset because she was now overwhelmed while being a bit snarky to us and forgetting multiple times a simple request. And openly claiming that the babysitter was now going to cost so much that it wasn’t even worth it to come to work that night.

Come on! Get a grip! Your customers (those who will be paying you a gratuity) don’t need to know what is going on at home, or that you are pissed off at your boss, or mad at the world. We want to enjoy a quiet late night meal (in our case, breakfast) without having to dodge your commentary between tables and feel your anger as it echoed throughout the room. There was truly a shift in ambiance.

We all get aggravated at work for a range of reasons – but those around you or especially those you ‘serve’ should not be the brunt of such frustration. Not only is it unprofessional and sheds a negative light on that place of business, it makes your customers uncomfortable. Maybe we would have requested that same server next time we come in. Or, maybe we now make sure we DON’T sit in her section.

This happens in so many places, never in the earshot of a manager of course. But just enough angst displayed in front of or directly to your customer is bad business.

Most all of the work we do has some level or form of customers we serve. That could be internal as well, such as an IT department or Office Support. When hired into a role to provide a service — keep that in mind. Make a good impression not just for the business you represent, but for yourself and your reputation.

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