File this one under, “I’m really not making this up.”
I went into Dunkin’ Donuts the other day and ordered a # 6 — an egg and cheese sandwich and a medium coffee for a special combo price of $3.99.
But I didn’t want that much coffee (I knew I’d drink whatever was in the cup and this was after all my 9th cup of the morning), so I asked the young man to just give me a small cup. He said ok, but when he rung it up, it came to $5.85. Now, I’m no mathematician, but even in New Jersey that sounds like a lot of tax on a $3.99 order.
Turns out the small coffee wasn’t part of the combo package so the computer rang them up separately. “No problem,” I said, “go ahead and ring it up as a medium, just give me a small coffee.”
"No can do", the young man behind the counter — very friendly and seemingly quite sharp — told me that he had to give me a medium coffee in order to give me the $3.99 price. He said this was “their” rules! Now, he seemed like a very nice young man and I did not want him to listen to my rant on who are “they”? So I agreed to the medium size cup, but now get this...
Eventually I got my way, as he was filling the medium cup, I whispered to him over the counter, “Psst… just fill it halfway, and winked!” He smiled, gave me a knowing nod, (you know “that nod”, young people give when they beat the system) and that’s what he did, then he did something that almost floored me, he flashed the 60′s solidarity fist, almost to scream out “we did it”, the only thing missing were the words “right on”. I am thinking this young kid was raised by parents who told him about the 60's !
I got a small coffee disguised inside a medium cup. The kid handed me the cup and seemed quite pleased we (he and I became radicals for that single moment), WE found a way to shakeup and move the “establishment”, WE were united to change the world.
What’s it all mean? The 60′s are over and rebellion against the establishment has taken a new tone and new form!
Besides my view on protests, the business thought here is- flexibility and training.
Make certain your business remains flexibile to accomodate your customers' needs. And by all means, make certain you properly train your staff, not only to perform their daily tasks, but more importantly,that they use common sense.
Author's Note: Anyone who grew up in the 60's will understand my "protest" reference, and to others who have heard my sales training sessions and my formative years in the 60's- you will understand even more! I viewed three types of people in the 60's - those that made IT happen, those that watched IT happened, and those that walked around all day asking "what's happening". I find those same "type" of people exist in most organizations today. My sales training programs and empowerment sessions attempts to make participants part of the make it happen crowd. (I know a shameless plug for business)
Thanks, for letting me get this off my chest.