Friday, 22 April 2011

2 years experience required

I was just in a teashop today and saw that they were advertising for staff.

The advert specified "2 years waiter/waitress experience minimum". This led to an interesting discussion over lunch about what you'd have learned during those 2 years of experience.

As I am a bit of a process freak, I quickly summarised it into the following:

Greet and seat customers
Hand menu to customer, say you'll come and take their order in a couple of minutes
Return, ask customers if they're ready to order
Write down order on pad, take note of table number
Take order to kitchen
When food/drinks are ready, compare items with order, then take items to table if correct
Return after a couple of minutes, ask customers if everything is OK
When customers have finished, ask if they'd like anything else
Clear table, take used pots to the kitchen
Prepare bill
Process payment
Wipe table
Reset table for next customers
Repeat until closing time

I reckon that you could hone it further, but that's just my initial take on the concept.

The rest of the learning has got to be more complicated than that, I'm sure, but I don't think that it's particularly difficult to make tea and coffee and put buns onto plates. God only knows what people are like at home if they can't manage that sort of thing.

Anyhow, I'll give you 5 minutes to memorise the routine and then you can say that you're fully trained. Don't forget to smile and be friendly as though you want to work there...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


I'm sure that I am not alone when I admit to you that I procrastinate from time to time.

I was at work today when a colleague asked how I keep myself motivated. Well, the short answer is that sometimes...I don't! Thankfully those times are few and far between, but I firmly believe that "you need to know when to surf and when to wax your board". Some days it won't all come together and some days it'll all flow along like a dream.

The wonderful Brian Tracy describes it as "Eating the frog" - basically about picking off the biggest and most horrible tasks first and then doing the smaller ones that you'd really prefer to do last. Most people fill up a little too much of their day by doing the smaller tasks first, which means that they have to leave the bigger ones until tomorrow because they've not enough time to complete them today. Classic procrastination!

I was at a but of a loose end today, no meetings or places to be - and for times like that there is nothing better than having a location specific to-do list. I hammered away at a few "frog eating" tasks that I'd been meaning to do for a while, but had put them off and was starting to feel a bit bad about not completing them. After a couple of items, I noticed that I'd started feeling really good about the effectiveness of the day.

By the end of the day, I'd done about 10 things that I'd been putting off for ages and you can imagine how great that feels. I was in such a good mood that the next day I came into work fired up to do the same all over again.

So, next time you are at a loose end, think of the positive feeling that you'll get by crossing off a few of your worst tasks, take a deep breath and then just crack on with them!!