Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chinese Restaurant Chaos, and a compliment:

How often do you compliment other people? In your work, in your life? People really appeciate compliments, but we all have a tendency to offer only constructive criticism. Most people really love compliments, and you can take a great deal of pleasure in how they receive them.

Last night we ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant in chaos. Chaos! People complained that dinner took three hours. The front of the restaurant was clogged with angry customers demanding their overdue takeout orders. Sometimes no staff member could be seen. The staff gave very vague answers, explaining that "It's not my problem."

Indeed, food straggled out of the kitchen, a dish here, a dish there. There must have been too few cooks and too many takeouts. While we were there, they ran out of tea, mustard, cloth napkins and chopsticks.

We had made a reservation, so, in the absence of staff, I grabbed the first empty table for our little group. I cleared the table and wrote up our order myself. I handed my order paper to the one harried woman on the staff. She snatched it and ran into the kitchen. After that, for a long time, I wondered whether our very atypical order would be processed. I could not imagine how to find out how the order was doing, after hearing conversations like this:
"I've been waiting an hour, where's my takeout order?"
"It's being cooked now."
"You said that thirty minutes ago! I'm leaving!!"
"Stay, and you can pay half-price." (The woman got her takeout order ten minutes later.)

Eventually we got all the food we ordered, mostly brought by this woman, one dish at a time. The first time she brought part of our order, I guessed that all would be well; the order was being cooked, and she knew it was our food.
When I paid, I thanked her for looking after our food. She practically melted with pleasure. After maybe seven hours on her feet, and three hours of angry complaints, a nice word!
Try more nice words yourself, you'll enjoy it.

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