Category Archives: business

Over it!

I am generally an optimistic person. But as I sit here and write this blog, I’m over people in general.

“Over it!” one of my fellow bartenders and I sometimes shouted to each other last night as we dashed by each other, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people. No. Wait. Let me clarify. Sheer volume of IMPATIENT people.

I can handle a busy bar. I actually relish it and enjoy the interaction and the fast pace. Often busy night are nights I feel most “on my game.” Makes the night go by fast as well, and it usually leaves me very happy with my pocketbook at the end of the night.

But what leaves me overwhelmed and hating people for days following a rough night is when people are impatient and rude about it. When they put on blinders and decide THEY are the queen or king of the bar and if you don’t serve them in two seconds you’re a worthless bartender. And that… hurts. Because we’re working as fast as we can, haven’t had a pee break in hours, nor had a second to take a sip of water, generally are sweating like crazy from running ourselves so hard… and still nothing we do will ever be right. I had more than a few moments last night that I wanted to just stop running and have a good cry.

See some of my bar tips for customers from a bartender’s perspective.

I suppose such a thing can happen in any job, and that’s why I TRY to give people I interact with in various scenarios the benefit of the doubt.

Just tonight, my husband got very frustrated when two people at the local McDonalds couldn’t figure out our change correctly, and I finally had to correct them to get the show on the road. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt… they don’t teach how to count back change any more in schools, and even I have my  nights where I need to take a tab to the register to get the amount right that they owe. I told him I blame management as well for not ensuring their employees can think through a transaction versus being just drones that punch buttons on a keypad. (I make similar rants about sackers at grocery stores who put bleach with my fruit.)

But at the end of the day, I have to agree with him that some things are simply being a good employee. Some things are about wanting to work your way up the ladder of success versus just drawing a paycheck. Or in the same breath (and on the flip side) its simply being a good customer and realizing when it’s your turn you’ll be treated like the only customer… but only after you let the other guy get the same treatment.

It goes BOTH ways.

So tonight… having been on both sides of a rough business transaction in the last two days, I’m just done. Done with people. Done with business. Done.

Can someone bring me a shot?

What I learned from Celebrity Apprentice

I don’t get into many “reality TV” shows. Oh okay, so I am hooked on Top Chef shows. And I’m kinda all about Food Network. But you know what I mean. I watch and enjoy shows like Amazing Race and Undercover Boss. But if I miss it, not a big deal. I might catch up on what I missed on On Demand. I might not.

However, this season of Celebrity Apprentice SUCKED ME IN when, in a fit of “there’s nothing else to watch,” I listened to a repeat of it on MSNBC (I think it was). Just listening as I worked on other things, I found myself more and more curious about it. And I had to catch each week’s episode on On Demand, and I actually made sure I sat my butt down for the finale to see who won.

First and foremost, I am not a John Rich fan… its been my experience that you’ll actually have a bit of a hard time finding many in the Nashville area that are. That being said, within one episode, I was totally on Team John Rich. I was so thoroughly impressed with how he approached every task that by tonight, I was on the edge of my seat rooting for him.

I’ve supported St. Jude for years. Participated in fundraisers for then since I was in elementary school. And while the Muscular Dystrophy Association has my heart these days (see here, here and here), St. Jude also holds a huge place in it as well. Few things can dissolve me into tears like videos about St. Judes, and my heart aches every time I drive by that hospital on I-40 in Memphis.

That all being said, St. Jude is not why I rooted for John Rich. No one charity is more deserving than the other. Every charity is doing WONDERFUL things to make life better for others… and every single one deserved that money.  So when the winner was announced, it wasn’t saying, “Your charity is better.” it was saying, “This celebrity executed the job the best.”

Things I picked up from Celebrity Apprentice:

  • “Yes, sir!” has not gone out of style. It is still just as valid and appreciated today as it was 50 years ago. It’s a sign of respect, and it should always be used. Always.
  • Especially when its joined with a strong, firm handshake. The handshake, too, has not gone out of style.
  • Take into account what someone has to say. It doesn’t mean you have to do their suggestion, but they just might have a kernel of an idea that you can grow into something bigger. What everyone has to say is valid, even if you end up having to dismiss it.
  • Be firm in your orders, and don’t waver. Sometimes you have to be tough with someone, but do so respectfully and you’ll not only get your point across but you’ll avoid making an enemy.
  • Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. The biggest thing I saw in the first part of the finale was when John Rich took Star Jones on his team, and the first thing he had her do was create them a timeline.  Brilliant move, I thought. Acting on her organizational strengths, and delegating it to her to make them a schedule that then HE had to ensure they kept. As I said, brilliant. Delegating at its finest. I need to learn this.
  • It’s good to be passionate about your cause, but its not good to be overly emotional about it, either.
  • When the unexpected happens, think on your feet and “make it up” as you go.

That’s just a few things I picked up while watching this season’s Celebrity Apprentice. I think this was one case when I believe the better of the two won. As one of the celebrities said, Marlee had an amazing fundraising project (setting a new record high on the show!) but John had an amazing season. I have huge respect for him as a businessman, and, hey, he got Donald Trump to put on a cowboy hat on network TV. You can’t deny his power of leadership to pull that off!!