Monday, August 02, 2010

This Post Might Not Be Worth Reading, But...

Did you catch the title to this post?  What expectations did it set in your mind?  What are you expecting after reading it that you weren't expecting before?

While driving out west with my family for our recent vacation, we stopped at McDonald's in Brandon, MB.  This is one of the must-stop places for us, as it has a great Playland.  It's far enough away from Winnipeg (2 hours) that our kids can use a stretch once we've hit it.  The only downer is the food.

I went to place our order, and the girl behind the counter was clearly new.  Her uncertain stance and the way she kept glancing over her shoulder at her coworkers and supervisor gave it away before she even spoke.  Her first words to me were not, "Welcome to McDonalds!  What can I get for you?"  Instead, she started off by blushing slightly and saying, "Let me just say that I'm new so if I screw up your order I apologize in advance."

Now, I've been there.  Even recently.  The owners of the company where I work have pointed it out to me on several occasions when I've done pretty much the same thing: opening an interaction by, essentially, asking for permission to fail.  I'm becoming more and more aware of my tendency to do this, which is why it snagged my attention when this girl did it.  I stopped her before she could say any more.  "That's no way to begin," I chided her.  "You're going to do just fine.  Trust me."

She muddled her way through our order, needing help a number of times, and she made a few mistakes which I caught and patiently corrected.  When the food was ready, I offered her a final word of encouragement:  "Hang in there.  In a week or two this will all be second nature.  Trust me."

It would have been easy to get frustrated with her and to beat her down.  But that just wouldn't be Christ-like, nor would it embody the spirit of Friendly Manitoba.

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