Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Circumstance Sets The Stage

"You had to be there." Situations play back and we have the time and clarity to evaluate.

Circumstance sets The stage. A perfect sunset makes a Welcome sign into breathtaking artwork.
Not all stages are set for good works.
Food cooling in containers where water splashed from vigorous dishwashing easily, quietly lands to add to the refried beans. A flour covered mouse leisurely walks out of a bag of flour. It looked at me, head cocked and questioning. Was I there to put down another block of poison for it to ignore? Bad set. Bad stage. Bad performance. Reasons?
Too tired, too little money. A thousand excuses do not take mouse turds out of flour.
Appearances. Priority being the look of the meal rather than the content.

It's one example.

Holiday time, people slack off at work as visions of candy canes and lightsabers dance in their heads. I did a gig yesterday where a receptionist never made eye contact and spoke in monosyllables. The person I evaluated rushed through the meeting, handing me everything we should have done there during our meeting as a jumble of papers to look over later.
Rush. Wait. Pay extra for quality. Evaluator at the door? Time for excuses. Medical. Exhaustion. Underpaid. Understaffed. Inept.
The first scenario was blamed on an individual with a food handlers card by a business owner who repeatedly blamed being tired and overworked while drinking alcoholic beverages for everything from why workers quit to not throwing out bad food.
I told her what I would tell anyone. Your business is your livelihood. It has to be your priority. Attend to your health, your loved ones. Identify and address your excuses or state at the quizzical mouse and watch your excuses fail to vanish him. In fact, watch him referee football games with the cockroaches after the sun sets. Excuses won't make things right. Excuses stink.
If you're using them all the time, why?
Picture yourself standing there with me, meeting the eyes of that flour coated rodent.
What would motivate you to change?

I gave the matter thought.
Not having someone enable excuses. In the long run an enabler only delays the inevitable.
Prioritizing and addressing real concerns. Is social media on your phone a real concern or just a way to argue opinions?
Setting goals. What are the steps to improvement? Basics before details.
Communication. Develop communication that isn't resentment or guilt based. Are you listening?
Expectation versus reality. If you leave chicken sit out too long it will go bad. No amount of cooking will make it good again.

I'm getting ready for another trip next week. More observations, character acting, and performance reviews.

One could say that I've made a list, checked it twice, will see how attentive staff are working in between two major holidays. I'm hoping they exceed expectations. I'm hoping as I travel I see people being kind, considerate, and smiling.

Circumstance has set the stage. I stepped out of a bad play, to step forward again.
I learned to cook excellent Mexican food. I made some friends. I left the restaurant to focus on the gigs I love, bouncing across the country with mini-life stories that ever change and allow me to observe and evaluate others work.

It's a sad commentary on our society that there has to be secret evaluation to verify workplace performance standards.

Last night I found a gift. A painted stone. "Believe". I believe we are more, can all be more and can achieve more. I believe in us. I believe we can make better choices and better tomorrows. Someday perhaps we will not need evaluators quietly observing our work, perhaps circumstances will change.