Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Waiter and the Spoon

Taken off Waiter Rant, from a post in 2004. Apparently, someone sent him the story, so I have no problems re-copying it!
A timeless lesson on how consultants can make a difference for an organization...

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the spoon?"

"Well," he explained, "the restaurants' owners hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift."

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace it with his spare.

"I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."

I was impressed. I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"

"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone is so observant."

That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the rest-room. By tying this string to the tip of 'you know what', we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the rest-room by 76.39 percent."

"After you get it out, how do you put it back?"

"Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Year, New Attempts

So we're off to another school year. My friend and fellow co-worker has re-inspired my feeble attempts at blogging with her new, freshly minted blog post. You can read it here.

Over the summer, I served full time at a local restaurant. And became addicted to a little thing called Waiter Rant. I might even use my posts here to do my own waiter rant. I, however, may not be as nice as The Waiter. Here's one for starters:

If you allow your teenage children to dine at sit down restaurants by themselves...for the love of everyone, teach them how to act. And how to tip. I came extremely close this weekend to asking a group of seven high school girls if they grew up in the zoo, because no one around them enjoyed being there. Yelling, screaming, and playing games at the table is NOT appropriate. Neither is leaving a $1 tip on a $27 tab. Thankfully, my managers have noticed these ladies before, and have noticed the trend of them playing the system to get free/discounted food. No more, girls. Taco Bell is just down the street.