Yesterday was good for my development, and three points throughout the day stand out most. So obviously when I’m working and interacting with my guests, I’m trying to go above and beyond what I used to do in terms of connecting with my guests. I really try to find out where they’re from, if I know anyone from that area or have been there myself.I also try to think of them as friends coming in visiting me to help build a more genuine, honest and open line of communication with them.
I was reminded yesterday that I also need to keep strengthening my lines of communication with the people I work with, as well as my guests that I’m taking care of. At one point early in the night I didn’t communicate all the info I needed to, to someone I work with. Mistakes happen. The good thing about where I work, is that when mistakes do happen, we follow a simple step process-
1) Recognize the mistake, and communicate the correct info to whoever we need to (Chef, my managers, bussers, runners, other servers, etc)
2) Work quickly and smoothly to correct it
3) Knuckle up and move on forward with a positive attitude — this is key.
I haven’t been the best about communication in the past. It’s actually one of my biggest faults (in my humble opinion). As I continue on this journey and am turning into the leader I need to be, to create the positive changes I want, I’ve noticed that a number of people who have known me over the past year maintain assumptions about me. Speaking from experience, assumptions are a poor form of communication. It’s difficult for me at times, when I know personally I’m changing and trying to overcome a number of my old faults, to see or hear people just assume I’m the same old Steven and react preemptively and accordingly. What we see depends mainly on what we look for, after all. If you have a belief about a person or people, you’re subconsciously ( and sometimes consciously) going to look for evidence to support that belief. So that happened last night, and while it was frustrating for about 5 minutes, I refused to let one instance, early in the night, affect the rest of my shift. Onward and Upward, I need to respond to things as the man I want to be, not as the man people think I am.
The second thing that hit me was a bittersweet- John, one of the cooks that has worked at my restaurant as long as I’ve been there (a little over a year) and even before that, had his last shift last night. John is one of those awesome guys that I’m definitely a better person from having the opportunity to work with- he’s always upbeat, very professional but also a very cool guy, always willing to help other people understand about the amazing food they make in the kitchen. Tonight is the last night for a server I’ve loved working with- Bonnie. I was finishing up doing butters (side work we have to do) and thinking about how awesome they are, and how lucky I am to have worked with them. I’m definitely going to miss having them around, but both are moving onward and upward in their own careers, so I can only be happy for them.
The third thing happened simultaneously as the second thing was going on- so at this point it’s about 1:30 in the morning, my feet are killing me, I’ve been pouring myself into my tables all night, I’m tired, hungry and knowing that I’m usually up by 8:30 am-9 am at the latest, I was going over in my head the stuff I had to do when I was waking up. Basically, I was running at 25% instead of 100%- I think I’ve even said on here that late friday and saturday nights are when I’m at my worst, I feel the old introspective mood coming up so I can recharge my social battery. Anyway, while this was all going on, I got asked a few times about a part of my cash-out by the other servers. When I’m messing with butter I don’t want to go into my apron and deal with paper or cash, so I told them it would be a few minutes. When I was done and actually doing my cash out, I heard one of the servers make some dumb comment about me needing to hurry up with my cash out. It’s almost 2 am. I just finished my shift, I’m worn out and I just got done dealing with butter. I want to get out of here just as much as anyone else, so I don’t need to hear dumb stuff. She’s usually good about not saying dumb stuff too, so I noticed how much I’ve grown because instead of just reacting, I took a step back, realized I was tired from everything that day, and just needed to get some sleep. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I felt good when I realized that. I was still tired, so I got out of there shortly after, but it makes me happy when I realize these little improvements about myself. I’m changing my mindset and literally how I think and react to things, in a positive light, more and more.
Progress is just that– progress.