Monday, January 7, 2013


What is perception?
It is how we see things. And the context we put it into.
I will give you an example that happened today at work.

Now to start this off, I will tell you that I work at a restaurant.
I am a Bartender, and I am also a Server.

This morning, I was behind the bar.  Making drinks and hoping that business would pick up.
Meaning, more people got hungry.
Now, every now and then on a nice Sunday morning, one of the corporate employees of our establishment will come in and eat.  It is always nice to see them and we try very hard to make their meal perfect.

On this day, our Supervisor came in.  This is someone who needs to make sure we are doing our jobs correctly, so that the business makes money and we all continue to have jobs.
We will call him Bob.
Bob came in with his wife to eat a nice peaceful lunch.  We will call her Karen.

Bob and Karen sat at the bar.  We started talking. (it's always fun to talk to them. And they are usually interested in what I say. (rare))
They both ordered drinks and an appetizer.
Then they ordered their lunch. A burger for Karen, and a chicken sandwich for Bob, both with french fries.

While this is happening, a regular guest came in and sat at a table a little away from the bar. (Nancy)
I said "Hi Nancy", and rang in her usual order of chicken wings and a beer.
I got her beer to her, and talked to her while waiting on Bob and Karen's order to be ready.

Time moved on.  The orders came out as requested.
Everyone ate.
Bob and Nancy noticed that the "Medium" temperature burger they ordered was "Med-Rare" on one side, and "Well-Done" on the other.
Bob, being one of the guys in charge, asked me to bring this to the attention of a manager.  I did.

A little while later, that manager (Frank) came over and asked if Bob was done with his plate.
Bob said "Yes, but take a look at this.  These fries are not right.  They are overcooked and came out almost cold." And while he is saying this, is holding a french fry in his hand and waving it towards my  manager.
Now this was not done in a negative way.  Bob just likes to talk with his hands.  And one was holding a fry.

This is where perception comes in.

Nancy, cannot hear what is being said, but she sees this conversation unfold.  She watches as Bob waves a fry at Frank. And Frank just nodding and letting Bob do this.
Nancy starts to get upset.  She comes in to our location not just for the food, but because of the people.  She has grown fond of us and we take care of her.

I wonder what would have happened if she had gotten up and given Bob a piece of her mind.
After Bob left, she told me what she saw and her feelings towards it.  I let her finish explaining.
Then I told her who Bob was and what he said to Frank.

She turned almost beet red.  She told me that she would have been embarrassed and felt bad for doing it.
I replied that Bob would have probably listened to everything she said.  Then explained who he was and what he was telling Frank.  Then thanked her for being concerned, and sticking up for the staff the way she did.

This is what perception is.  Seeing only part of the whole.
Her perception was that this guy off the street was complaining about the food and putting down the employees.

Another reason to get all the facts before you act.

No comments:

Post a Comment