For here or to go?

For here or to go? You’d think this was an easy question. But twice in the last few days it really threw us off a little.

While away at a baseball tournament we stopped at a food court so everyone could get what they wanted for The parents claimed a group of tables in the common eating area. I chose Mexican. Went through the line choosing all the items I wanted. The cashier rang up my order and then ask a simple question that left me in a quandary, for here or to go?

What was the right answer? I didn’t think she wanted me to stand there and eat my dinner and they didn’t offer special seating for their food area. So, I surmised that the answer shouldn’t be here, but I wasn’t going very far. Looking over to my friends and then looking back at the girl who wasn’t going to release my food until I provided an answer. Finally, I pointed to my friends and said, “I don’t know, I’m going over there to eat. Is that here or to go?”

To the teenage cashier I no doubt resembled a confused old lady who had lost her car in the parking lot.

Not an hour later my husband encountered a similar situation in which he felt too intelligent to answer the question, “for here to go?” After dinner we all walked across the street to get an ice cream cone for dessert. My husband goes through the line and places our order. Mine was in a cup, so she scooped it and handed it to him. He handed it to me. His was to be in a cone. She scoops it and hands it to him. He slides to the register, holding his ice cream cone. Before completing the transaction, she asks, “for here or to go?” Remember the picture here, he’s holding an ice cream cone in his hand. He didn’t order a pint or quarter of Rocky Road. Why does it matter at that point? Would she repackage the cone differently? He paused a second and just said “here”. Would she stop him if he started to leave? He said he was eating it here not taking it to go.

We concluded that in some great cash register software programmers mind, it was important to know if an order was for here or to go. In some situations, it is. When we are ordering and it’s obvious if not staying in the restaurant that provides tables, a box or bag will be necessary. But food courts and ice cream parlors probably could save that step.

Next time I will be ready with an answer. I’m practicing now.


No Soda for You…

I don’t drink Coke Cola every day.  Many of us can agree the best Cokes colacome from McDonalds. Is it the perfect mix of ice, the syrup, the straw and the way it bursts into your mouth. I don’t know it’s magic. The other day I was in the mood for that perfectly refreshing sweetness, so I pulled into the drive through. Ordered the bubbly only to be told that their soda machine wasn’t working.  Not working! How can this be? It’s McDonalds, they are known for their soda pops and French fries!

I politely told the lady I didn’t want anything else and drove away. Immediately the post about people’s favorite kind of ice came to mind,    Ice By Any Other Form. How rediculous is it that I was frustrated with McDonald’s. Again I’m faced with a first world inconvenience that I have no right to be frustrated.

Lucky think for me that McDonald’s are strategically placed within a mile of one another in Louisville. Whew…


There is a Difference

Recently I heard someone say there is a difference between being filled and being fulfilled. This was a statement I had to write down and think about.  Later that day I treated myself to some McDonald’s French fries. I don’t do this often, but I took my son to get his lunch and the waft of deep fried potatoes made only the way McDonald’s makes them, overtook my judgment as soon as I opened the door.

cokeThey came out piping hot; a golden delight to behold.  My fountain Coke bubbling wonderfully over ice with the straw at the ready. I chose the perfectly shaped fry and took that long awaited bite.  As I chewed up this fantasy favorite, I quickly noted that there was no salt on them. My craving and thoughts of sinking my teeth into the perfectly deep fried, lightly salted McDonald’s fries were shattered by the reality of what I was served.  It was if karma (if you believe in karma) swooped in with my doctor’s orders to watch my salt. I left the restaurant filled with carbs and completely unfulfilled otherwise.books1

In that moment I was seeking fulfillment from something very temporary.  Even if the salt had been correct, I would have still been hungry an hour later. Had I chosen more wisely, perhaps a something in the protein family, or even chosen an entirely different restaurant, my fulfillment would have been of higher quality and would have lasted longer.

In a similar fashion, each day we choose what we fill our minds, hearts and souls and body with. Are we choosing high quality information?  Are we looking for positive stories and information that grows us personally and professionally? Are we using our own judgment to determine what to believe and dwell on or are we just believing everything others tell us? Do we fill our minds with the junk food offered on television or in the media? Are we choosing that which is temporary or that which transcends earthly misperceptions of lasting peace and satisfaction?

TV setBy filling our hearts and minds with that which leads us to grow, learn and even change for the better, each day we become more of who we are meant to be. We will find ourselves more in tuned with that which produces longer lasting fulfillment.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

Share with me your thoughts on the matter.

All the best,


Let’s Talk Customer Service

mediocrity 2Over 85% of the jobs in the United States are service oriented.    These services may focus external of the business such as a customer service representative or any employee who interacts with customer making a purchase.  Other service position focus internally such as an administrative department or IT department of a company.

Let’s take a look at those roles in which the services provided directly impact the image of a company, the future of its employees and sales.   As consumers we carry an expectation when making a purchase.  Our expectation falls in line with the quality or expense of the item we are going to purchase.  Therefore, our expectations when at a fast food restaurant are different from that of a four-star restaurant.  Can we agree on this?

I have to give kudos to an employee at the MacDonald’s in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.  I went in to purchase a plain cheese burger for my mother-in-law.  The restaurant was fairly busy. After standing in line for a short time, I placed my order, paid, waited and when handed a bag, I walked out.  Before I stepped off the sidewalk, a female employee came after me and said, “Mam, I’m sorry, we gave you the wrong burger.  That isn’t a plain cheese burger.”  A little surprised with her effort in the midst of a lunch rush, I followed her in to trade what was in my bag, for the correct special order burger.   She handed me the new bag, smiled and apologized again.

I must admit, I walked out thinking two things:  “Way to go McDonald’s for hiring such a good employee and that girl will go places.”  She took her entry level, order-taking position at McDonald’s seriously.  With so many jobs available in service positions, to be successful for both the ework ethic 2mployer and the employee, it is the front line employees (representatives of the business) who make the difference.

On the contrary to my experience at the fast food giant McDonald’s, I was recently doing weekly shopping at the Stoneybrook Kroger.  I went in the morning in the middle of the week; not a really busy time for the grocery.  I went through the store with my list and coupons filling our family’s food needs.  With the list fulfilled I proceeded to the checkout.  After completely unloading the cart, I remembered an item I didn’t pick up.  So I asked the cashier where the humus could be found.  She looked at me blankly and said, “I have no idea.  I’m up here all day.  I don’t know where anything is in the store.” She went back to ringing up the groceries making no effort to ask someone else where the item could be found.

Holding back my laugh and lecture of this twenty-something, I shook my head, and finished my transaction.  Looking at her badge, I was hoping to find a trainee sticker or some reason she wouldn’t have a clue where to find items in the store.  There was no indication of being a recent addition to the Kroger team.  I will find humus elsewhere, but the sad thing is that the cashier will go nowhere.  She is a “front line” representative of the Kroger Company and has no idea where to find things in the store.

I will gladly extend grace to customer a representative who are obviously having a bad day but still shows up and tries.  And to those in entry-level positions who take the opportunity seriously as a proving ground for their future, “good for you”!

To those who are in a position of hiring or of mentoring the new employees or young adults in a business, PLEASE, help these young people learn early in their careers, how doing even the most entry-level position with care and excellence will make all the difference in where they find themselves down the road.

All the best,