27 April 2008

27Apr-late night ramble on hiring and optimism.
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I want a lot from this restaurant. We all do, I think it's fair to say. I have daydreams of the perfect Baan Sawan: running as a well-oiled machine. Nary a problem nor a hiccup. Each server well-trained and unflappable in response to every query and comment. Each one making me proud. Each one a trusted ambassador for the restaurant. Each one a true reflection of how we want Baan Sawan to be perceived. One wonders how, after twelve years at this game, I'm still optimistic enough to believe such a crew exists as to post this ad on Craigslist:

"A lot's been said on the subject of ambition and expectations. There are those who applaud great ambition and great expectations and those who believe lofty aspirations distract us from taking advantage of realistically attained goals. Perhaps both schools have some merit and, as in most things, a balance should be found that incorporates ideas from both points of view.

I write this now for a couple of reasons.
One is to begin weeding out people who wouldn't fit in at the restaurant. Most, at this point, will not likely have read this far. Those who have and want to continue reading have a higher chance of getting along with us.
Another reason is to give the potential applicant an idea of what we want. For years we were generic in our job ads and we received interest from too broad a spectrum. Time is too valuable to squander on the application process for a job there's no chance of getting.

What we want is the best. The best for our customers. We want the best from ourselves. The best from our staff. Every person we hire from here on out should be, in some way or another, better than the person before. Each new team member should fortify and enrich what we do. Each person should instill a desire in the other to do their best and always seek improvement. We're none of us perfect but to accept that as a reason not to strive for perfection will only keep us that much further away from it."

Not surprisingly, I haven't had any responses.

Perhaps I want too much. Perhaps I'm too hopeful. But am I at fault for hoping that I can do better than the cold-calling applicant who strode in to his interview, nearly ten minutes late, wearing jeans he frequently hitched up, a golf shirt and flip-flops? Not to mention he conducted his interview with a mouthful of gum and his attention on his watch bezel and something over my left shoulder but only too rarely on my eyes? Here's an applicant whose personality makes me edgy just in the interview; I can't imagine that he can put one of our many loyal customers at ease.

But with so few people applying and so many of our current staff making preparations to leave I find myself in something of a pickle.

I ramble.

Regardless, to whomever may be reading this: whether you be a current or prospective customer. Rest assured that we strive to provide you with the best experience that we can.

Our crew may be pretty solid now (and, it's true, in many ways they all work together to create a net that seems to catch most of what's thrown at us) but we're not the type to rest on any laurels. We're always trying to improve. And, in a more grand sense than just our little restaurant, we should all strive for more.
Can you imagine what a wonderful world it would be if everybody tried to be a better person for ourselves and for everyone around us?
(maybe I wouldn't have to park next to grocery carts abandoned haphazardly everytime I went to the store...)

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