Foodie Friday and I hope you had a chance over the past week to go out to eat.
Maybe it was to a holiday barbecue to begin the Summer or maybe you just needed a night off from the kitchen. I’ve spent the week dining out a lot and it gave me a chance to reflect on something I see as a truism in life and in business.
Have you ever dined out with someone who is abominable to the server? They treat someone who is doing their job with indifference at best and outright rudeness at worst. Most servers, as you might know, are working for minimum wage plus tips. It’s obviously in their best interest to keep their tables happy and I find it rare that a server warrants anything but polite, respectful treatment. If you don’t like the food, the server didn’t cook it (or order it). If they hover and you find it distracting, they’re probably just doing as their manager is instructing them. Yet some people treat the wait staff as indentured servants, ordering them around without a “thank you” or “please.” It embarrasses me, but it does something else. It tells me a lot about the person with whom I’m dining.
You know that I subscribe to the “customer is almost always right” theory. That “rightness” ends when they stop behaving like a reasonable adult. I find that the people who need to demean other people generally have issues themselves – insecurity, low self-esteem among them. So why is this on a business blog?
Bad managers can be like bad customers. They treat their staff as “that guy” does a server. Instead, just as you won’t get fed without a server doing their job, managers forget that it’s the work of their subordinates that makes their job necessary. Just as servers can make a meal memorable or a disaster, staff can make the boss look great or incompetent. I’ve always felt that we get what we give in both instances. Which will it be for you?