I have to tell you about today. Most mornings I am awake with the birdsong – love that in the summer months, sweet chirping outside and the slither of light coming through the windows. Very different to the dark months when even the birds are annoyed.
As I work from home, it’s the coffee express, the hot water and lemon and pulling the computer closer to see all the emails. I am a good girl, a quick thank you prayer, some to do lists and hoping the juices will get the old forgotten metabolism kick started. (Does it really work?)
Luxury travel and events is my main business, but I did let you on in the secret of working in a coffee shop a few days a week to not only ground me, get me out there but also observe. Love observing. Anyway, when the text came through with a plea to help at the coffee shop for the morning, I shifted my to do list to the afternoon and off I went.
The thing is, the thing is, in my little mind, if I am not mentally scheduled for something, things go wrong. I was mentally scheduled to stay at home and work, and it must be karma. Half an hour into the coffee shop and I shred my nails way down, like whoa, that’s sore! Flip and fathom the forefathers kind of F. Coping till I end up burning two fingers to the point of serving with ice in my hand to ease the pain. Amazing what you can do with one hand she says. And so it went, but the lesson here is that when one is scheduled. brain orientated to do one thing, doing another brings consequences. My mind was on my clients, not on my customers and I paid for it.
- It’s the age thing. You won’t believe how many customers ask me if I own the business. For them, a Silver Streeter with an apron in a coffee shop must be the owner, or someone sad who needs the job. Funny that. Can one simply do a job and not be stereotyped?
- The accent continues to intrigue. Is is Australian? From New Zealand? South African – wow, always wanted to go to South Africa, or know someone who has.
- Young waitrons don’t know how to chat. Most customers relish the compliment on the baby (mums struggle here without help), the holiday (tourists on their own) or telling you about their dogs, days and what they do. Most customers want interaction which the younger waitrons miss. Five minutes of chatting leads to interesting stories.
- Smiling. If I could coach on the smiling thing, business would boom.
- Met a young lady who was at school with my eldest. The ‘oh my word’ conversation was magic and now we are her new customers. Says something about the old girls school bond.
- It is a tiring job doing this, but have become the sage of advice for others – go figure.
- Make a point of not checking my emails or voice messages which is a good thing for when I do, all systems go.
And so it is. I am discovering a whole new world of people and their characters and they are pondering about mine. From luxury travel and events to serving smoothies, my world has opened up to so many possibilities and it suits me right now. We can take our lives and change them, explore them, learn and harness that information into a broader sense of it all.
Am I a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde? Perhaps. But for now I love it. Noticing how others perceive me. Observing life, taking notes and if truth be told, loving the experience of balancing high end clients with being, well, just a normal, waitron. I am learning that I can do it all if I want to.
Know your market. Get out there and find them. I picked up two new clients today from serving them lattes.