Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sweating the Small Stuff

I walked into the physical therapy office the other day at 12:55 pm, and when I started signing in, I noticed the person before me had written 12:57.  Now, human nature would be to write 12:58 and have a seat, but I didn't get there at 12:58.  I got there at 12:55 and I wanted credit for those three minutes.  So, I wrote 12:55 and complimented myself on my punctuality.

Now, before you think I am pillar of accuracy, I will freely admit that when running late to the pediatrician, I have interpreted their office clock to be a minute or two fast at check in.  'Cause that's different.  Those minutes could mean the difference between waiting 15 minutes for a room, or being labeled late and waiting 45.

Which got me to thinking - is the devil in the details?

I certainly think so. Consider last week when I went to the antique store to buy a pre-lit Christmas tree ($55 for a 6-footer, thank you very much.)  As the store owner and I chatted, she inquired as to my occupation, and determined that I was exactly who she needed to help her redesign her website.  We talked turkey, and made an appointment to compare calendars.  And just when I had convinced myself that I could handle a new client, she released a giant fart cloud over my head.  "So," she says, "I barter, and for this service, I can give you a dining table."

Yeah, no. I don't think the power company accepts Lazy Susan's as a form of payment, so that bird won't fly.  Would have been nice if she'd led with that tidbit, but I suspect she's done this before.

Then there was Reservation-Gate at a XXXX restaurant.  I was planning a surprise party for my daughter's 13th birthday.  I emailed the owner - no reply. I called the restaurant - was told a manager would need to call me.  No call.  I physically walked into the restaurant at 11:00 am one day.

Stupid Hostess In Training: "We're not open."
Me: "I am not here to eat. I need to confirm a reservation."
SHIT: "Take this business card and email us."
Me: "I have done that. I want someone to call me."
SHIT: "OK, what's your name and number?" Writes it in dry erase marker on a menu.  Upon hearing my name, "Oh yeah. You're here in the computer, see?"
Me: "Thank you."  And a pox on your house.

So, that weekend, the surprise goes off without a hitch, and now everyone is seated and enjoying the moment.  My cell phone rings.

"This is SHIT at XXXX and we are wondering if you are still planning to come in tonight.  Your reservation was for 6:30 and we haven't seen you yet."

Mother of God.

So I walk up to the hostess stand and there she is with two underlings.  

Me: "I just got a message asking me if I am going to honor my reservation.  I am here."
SHIT: "Oh, well, when you changed the number in your party it caused a problem and you actually have 2 reservations in the sys- ME: "I. AM. HERE."
Underling: "And we're so glad you are!! :) :) :) 

I walked away, and then smiled brightly when SHIT was called into serve me my meal.

Details.  They are important.  And just like a misplaced comma, they could mean the difference between someone's life, or death.  (i.e., Let's eat, Grandpa vs. Let's eat Grandpa).

Let's not eat Grandpa.  Let's care about details and get them right.  Except when it's not convenient for me, of course.

Until next time, keep crowin'!

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! Love your acronym for the hostess ;)

    I think we should now be able to say "Let's not eat Grandpa" to people who muck up the details in life!!