Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Business Lesson from Lunch

Today, I went to lunch with a friend of mine. I normally just get the soup from this particular restaurant, so I can't really vouch for any other items on their menu and this was her first time going.

My friend ordered a soft chicken taco that came with rice and beans. They brought out charro beans, although she asked for refried beans and she corrected that issue.

When I asked her how her taco was, she said that the tortilla was rubbery as if they had warmed it in the microwave a little too long. I asked if she wanted a soft taco or a hard shell. She said that the soft shell was the correct item, it just didn't taste very good. I told her that she should say something to the waiter. She didn't want to make a fuss.

When the waiter came back around and asked if we were enjoying everything, I said, I was, but she wasn't and I went on to explain what the problem was. By that time, she had taken the chicken out of the tortilla and she still wasn't comfortable making waves. The waiter apologized and asked if there was something he could do to make the meal better. His hands were a little tied in the situation, I suppose because she had eaten most of the tortilla even though she didn't like it. She asked him for guacamole to help her finish her meal. It was about 7 minutes before he came back with it and by then, she was nearly done with what was left on her plate.

When the checks came, he had charged her for the guacamole. Again, I told her that she should say something. She said, in her heavy Caribbean accent, that she ordinarily would, but "I not in the mood for dat today."

This made me think about what people do in business A LOT! How many times have you gotten something from someone you are doing business with and although it wasn't what you wanted or the way you wanted, you just smiled politely and took it anyway - and PAID FOR IT! I've done it before and although this is probably something women do more than men, I've seen men do this too.

The lesson here is, if you don't speak up for yourself, WHO WILL? Sure, I stepped in and said something on her behalf at first, but once I saw she wasn't really interested in fighting for her own money, why should I do it? I'm not her protector.

When it comes to spending money, YOU ARE THE BOSS! You call the shots and if something isn't the way you want/need it to be, you have every right to open your mouth and make it known. Additionally, contrary to "popular" belief, there are ways to do that without coming across as a bitch...but then again, if you do, so what, it's your MONEY!

Don't sit on your hands when things are right because at the end when it's time to pay the check, right or wrong, for better or worse, the service-provider is going to expect to be paid and once you've eaten the whole taco (in this case), it's a little hard to go back and say "Yeah, I ate it but I didn't like it." It's important to make sure you speak up as soon as you notice the problem and give them a chance to rectify it. If no resolution can be met, you can take your money elsewhere.

Never settle for something that doesn't match the amount of money you are spending. NEVER!