"Are you ready to order?"

There was a time when people talked about the "shuns." People out and about in the dating scene. My single friends sometimes complained that they were having a hard time finding someone who met their requirements - someone with all three "shuns:" an educa-shun, transporta-shun, and an occupa-shun. It’s one of those things that sounds pretty clever when you first hear it... And then I decided to try to adapt a similar mantra for my own purposes. And I did.  The three C's.

Whenever I have the opportunity, I enjoy stressing the importance of the three C’s to W. D. Deli employees. My three C’s are: Urgen-C, Accura-C, and Courte-C.... You get the idea. The urgency factor for the deli is very important. A large number of our customers come to us for their lunch hour, and it’s important that we take their order and serve their food to them in a timely manner so that they can get back to work just as quickly as needed. The accuracy part is equally important. We need to find out exactly what it is that our guest wants to have for lunch (at the time when they are placing their orders) and make sure that they get exactly that (from the time the folks in the kitchen read the ticket and make the order, to the time that the runner takes the plate and matches it to the ticket, to when the food is placed in front of the customer for them to enjoy). You know if you want your turkey club sandwich with no mayo and honey mustard, well, that's the way you want it.

But today, brothers and sisters - today, members and friends, I wish to talk to you about Courte-C. Be nice to people, children. Use your manners. And if you have no "home-tranin’," get some. Treat people the way that you would like to be treated. Courtesy. I tell the people I work with at W. D. Deli that our customers could go anywhere for lunch, but for some reason, they come to us. I am convinced that the way we treat our guests has a whole lot to do with whether or not they choose to come back. As someone who dines out quite often, I am much more likely to go to a restaurant where I know I’ll get good service - even if the food is mediocre. And if I’m entertaining friends or family from out of town, I definitely want to go somewhere where we’ll be treated well.

Really I just feel that everybody should be nice to everybody. Basic rudeness and bad manners are things for which I have no patience. Just five minutes ago, a customer walked in with her cell phone clutched tightly and pressed against her ear. She continued her conversation as she opened the door, as she walked in, and as she approached the cashier. Our courteous cashier and the customers who had walked in behind this woman waited patiently until there seemed to be a lull in her phone conversation. "Are you ready to order?" the cashier asked brightly. The customer on the phone looked up, annoyed. "Uh, yes," she replied with emphasis, as if to say, "I’m standing here, aren’t I?" Somehow she managed to convey her order to the cashier while still on the phone. From there she went to the fountain and got her drink while still on the phone. She sat and ate lunch while still on the phone, and eventually finished lunch and left the restaurant still on the phone. Basic rudeness. Bad manners. And it makes it difficult for the people working in the restaurant, or grocery store, or dry cleaners to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

One of my facebook friends recently posted a picture from a restaurant that showed a sign reading: THERE WILL BE A $3 SURCHARGE FOR CUSTOMERS WHO REMAIN ON THEIR CELL PHONES WHILE ORDERING. Sounds like a great idea to me. We probably won’t be doing that at W. D. Deli. We’re going to be more likely to smile and wait a little while for you to finish your cell phone conversation. We’ll probably still be smiling when you’re still talking, even if you hold up your index finger and keep us waiting a while longer. But we reserve the right to talk about you after you leave.


  1. I so agree with the comments about the cell phone. The number of people who do this while trying to order food, pay at the grocery, and other things blows my mind. Hang up the phone for five minutes; you're not that important.

  2. "Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength." - Eric Hoffer


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