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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Sandwich Line - don't do it wrong, Michael Keaton

Hubby tells me that when he fishes in a spot he's never been to before or or hasn't been to in quite some time he always takes a few minutes to evaluate the motions of the waves physical properties of the landscape upon which the waves are crashing. Is there an undercurrent? How big are the waves? Are there rocks protruding (or not) that affect the way the waves hit the coastline. Is the tide waxing or waning? That sort of stuff. Doing all that keeps him safe, keeps him alive, and prepares him for his fishing adventure.

I think it's a good rule to follow and should be carried out in other activities in one's life, for example, ordering a sandwich at a deli you've never been to before.

Let's say you are a tourist from The Netherlands and you're walking through San Francisco with your family. You just finished climbing up to Coit Tower and back down again and you think to yourself that lunch sounds good. You walk into the nearest deli and proceed to order yourself a sandwich.

Seems simple enough, but what you don't realize is that you're standing in the 'pick up' section to order your lunch, and not the 'order' section, then after you place your order you proceed to stand in the 'order' side, thus making everyone think you are waiting to order. The line piles up behind you. Everyone wonders why you're not moving ahead, and why your family keeps (seemingly) taking cuts in line.

Now let's say you're doing this on a weekday, during the lunch rush when people like me have to get in and get out because her boss made her go out and get him a sandwich because he had tons of meetings and couldn't get out, and yeah, it's a pain but hey, I'm paid by the hour and I get the same amount of money if I type up notes from an important meeting or leaving the building to go get a sandwich.

Just like the waves crashing onto one beach is different from waves crashing onto another beach, the sandwich ordering process varies from deli to deli. Some delis have a number system. Some have a clustering-honor system, and some, like the deli I get my boss' lunch at have a clear line, and (just as important) that winds around a specific way so that different parts of the store aren't bottle-necked.

What you should have done to ensure a flawless execution in obtaining lunch is take a step back and observe how the line works, and what people normally do when they order from this particular deli. 

It's like that scene in Mr. Mom when Michael Keaton drops his kids off for school. He drives into the driveway that the rest of the cars are exiting. His kids start screaming at him "you're doing it wrong." He tells them they're crazy, then the crossing guard (emphasis on cross) pounds on his windshield and screams at him "you're doing it wrong."

If you don't know how the sandwich line works, you should step back and observe for a moment or people will get mad.
If you don't know how the ocean waves work you should step back and observe or you can get seriously injured or die.

1 comment:

  1. Every time somebody says "you're doing it wrong" I think of that scene...then want to reply "South to drop off MORON!" God I love that scene.

    ReplyDelete

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