Tag 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?

Negotiating services

The government and media can tell us all they want that the economy is getting better, but I know from where I stand… it sure doesn’t feel like it. I’m doing ok right now just because we’ve found ways to cut costs left and right.

But… at what point does cutting costs reach the point of insult?

Where I am working right now, at least once a week it seems someone comes in ready to negotiate their bill down to a lower price. Every time that happens, I’m left with a sick taste in my mouth. (It happened twice in one day recently, and it sent me in to a fit of pure anger… something that VERY rarely happens.) Why? Because I know what goes into doing the service being provided: aka Overhead.

When you receive a bill for a service, what you have to realize is that the bill exists to help cover hundreds of hidden costs.

Let’s take your local plumber. You call him to come unclog a drain, and when you receive the bill you might find yourself asking yourself, “Why so high when he was only here for 10 minutes.”

What you don’t see is:

  • fuel costs to drive over
  • the expense of having the proper tools to do the job
  • training and KNOWLEDGE of how to fix the problem quickly and efficient.
  • taxes paid by the business owner to even be in business.
  • insurance they have to carry.
  • etc.

In my own case, when doing any design work, I often try to figure myself by hours of work… plus a little extra to help me afford the computer I need to do the work. The programs. The hours I’ve spent learning how to do the work.

I’m not just putting food on the table. I’m trying to stay in business. And at the end of the day, the only number that can truly be negotiated down is what you think that individuals time and knowledge are worth. And it is in that moment that negotiating a bill down comes off as insulting. Just as you’re trying to save money, a business it trying to stay in business… and those words, “Why so high!?” can easily be the equivalent of, “You’re just not worth that!”

If everyone were to negotiate their bills down as hard as some people do, businesses would go out of business left and right. Now, I’m not saying you can’t ever negotiate to get a better deal. I’m just saying… sometimes take a step back and realize its not only about you.