Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/24/2020
I stopped by my favorite hot dog truck this past week. It’s been here for at least 40 years and is owned by “Pops,” who started with a push cart and who now has a silver trailer towed by a pickup. He currently serves veal parm and short ribs, among other things. Pops is well into his 80s these days, so the trailer is staffed by family or friends, but not so well as Pops.
His “employees” can’t remember the most basic essential issue about hot dogs: What the customer wants on it: saurkraut, relish, chile, cooked onions, celery salt, etc. So you tell them (I order three at a time) and then they ask you again as they assemble the rolls and dogs, and then you have to watch them like a hawk because they’ll otherwise make a mistake. Chile and saurkraut, for example, do not mix well.
I’m reminded of the current trend in restaurants where the staff writes nothing down and “remembers” your order until they can get to the computer. I find the error rate is about 15%. Is there something offensive about taking notes?
There are things in our lives we had better learn to remember: the name of a prospect to whom we’re introduced, the time and date of an appointment, the location of a meeting, our spouse’s birthday, and so on. I write these things down, including the prospect’s name. I don’t want chile on my saurkraut, and I don’t want to mix up a buyer with a dental appointment. And every Sunday, in my Filofax, there’s a note: “Write Monday Morning Memo.”
And so I have.
When I was growing up, my family was so poor we couldn’t afford to pay attention.—Mr. T
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