Fast Food Service? Time For an Overhaul.

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By a show of hands (yes really do this), how many of you went through the drive through lately and were given all of the above:

1.)  Visual acknowledgement (they looked at you)

2.)  Facial acknowledgement (they smiled at you)

3.) Professional acknowledgement (they thanked you for your business)

I’m not seeing many hands.  Figured as much.

Over the days ahead, I’m going to be writing on this very issue…drive-through customer service.  It’s not rocket science, but even with that in mind, the question is still this: why in the world is it so damn hard to get (minimum) good service at the drive-through?

Now, I do understand that not every fast food restaurant offers that same experience (I’ve still yet to go to a Chik-fil-A that didn’t provide me with, minimum, good service and more often-than-not exceptional service).  But there is clearly a problem that needs to be rectified.

And hopefully I can help alleviate that problem.  If only a little.

To be continued…

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Mediocrity…Be Gone

I don’t remember a whole lot about his class, but I remember two things about my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Langelle.  First was that his roots were from Nova Scotia, Canada.  And second, he had a saying that he shared fairly frequently in class (hence the reason it has stuck with me some ___ years later) – “Don’t be satisfied with mediocrity.”

Mediocrity by its very nature deals with the ordinary, the average, and at the very least the status quo.  Mediocrity determines that I go half-way on the effort, I go lukewarm on the intensity, and I don’t put forth my very best effort in my professional and person life.  Mediocrity is the antithesis of passion; it is the poison in today’s society that keeps people from truly excelling and achieving everything they were meant to achieve.

Some people are so driven to achieve that mediocrity is a foreign word.  But for the majority of people, mediocrity is a frequent obstacle that they’d like nothing more than to get around.  I would submit to you that there are three ways to kill mediocrity in your life:

1.) Find your passion.  There’s nothing worse than trying to hack away at something in life for which you have absolutely no desire, drive, or ambition to make happen.  Find what drives and motivates you, and pour your creative energies into it.  Mediocrity tends to arise as a result of the mundane…counter it with that which ignites your passion.

2.)  Share your passion.  Nothing keeps the fire going more than continuously adding fuel.  One way to do that is to share your vision and drive with those around you.  You have to be careful about and selective of whom you share this with – there are people who will tell you to get your head out of the clouds, get realistic, or otherwise try to extinguish your passion.  You need a support system to keep you ignited and motivated.  Find that valuable few and keep them posted.  If they have your back, they won’t let you even remotely consider mediocrity.

3.)  Cultivate and grow your passion.Once you discover what your passion is and share the vision with others, then move forward with developing yourself with that passion and seeing it through to fulfillment.  Whether it be starting a new business, completing a project, or exploring a hobby, put your heart and soul into it and see where it can grow.  Devotion equals passion.  When you’re devoted to your passion, mediocrity will have no room to take root.

If you follow these three basic concepts, mediocrity will be just a memory and passion will be the name of the game.

QUESTION:  How do  you beat back mediocrity from your own life?  Share with us in a comment below.

The Difference

I’ve often thought about what it means to be a professional.  Is there any kind of philosophical difference between being an employee and being a professional?  As I’ve turned this over throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is, in fact, a difference between the two.  And it boils down to one simple yet profound word.

Passion.

The word “passion” has become associated with many ideas and areas.  Those in the Christian faith recall the passion of Jesus during that first Easter weekend.  Two lovers experience passion for one another, which typically involves the physical, erotic stage of romance.  But the passion I’m thinking of deals more with that which drives a person to excel and be the best he or she can be.

The difference between an employee and a professional is passion.  An employee approaches his job as a hired hand, somebody who clocks in for a few hours each day or night, fulfills a list of job responsibilities, and gets paid periodically.  A professional can also clock in, fulfill job responsibilities, and gets paid periodically…but they are so much more.  They don’t see themself as a hired hand; rather, the professional sees themself as an intergral part of the organization.  Their job might be done at the end of the shift, but the work isn’t.  The professional strives to be the best, do the best, and produce the best.  She works in such a way that she can sign her name on each and every day of work as if that name is a personal seal or guarantee of excellence.

I had a 6th grade teacher who used to tell our class, “Don’t be satisifed with mediocrity.”  The professional isn’t satisifed with the status quo; to the contrary, she becomes a student of her trade or craft.  The professional seeks to become better in his career or work, not being content to rely on his boss to provide training but also seeking out ways to acquire training on his own.  The reason is simple: they are obligated to give the best return for their company’s investment.  Doing one’s best isn’t just a priority…it’s THE priority.

There’s a lot more I could share along these lines, but for now it suffices to say that the great difference between employees and professionals is a very simple word with profound consequence – passion.

QUESTION:  How do you define “passion” in your own life?