Please Tell Me More…

When I have a question, I want an answer that imparts some relevant information. But, I want even more information than I may be asking for so that further questions may be unnecessary. I want a little bit of an education, and that is hard to get – it can feel like “pulling teeth”. So, sometime, well, sometime I just go get my “pliers”…

This is a rant – I don’t have many… While some may disagree, I’m telling you that my soapbox issues in this world are relatively few in my generally optimistic and upbeat brain. What brought this post about? The following example is trivial, I know, but it makes my point, so let me set the stage. You’ll see where I am going fairly quickly!

I have a beer or two with a good friend several times a month. On one of our visits to our favorite “pub”, the sign outside said: “Specials Today: All Domestic Craft Beers”. That sounded good to me… I ordered a Sam Adams Seasonal, and just before the waitress walked away from our table, I asked, “That’s a domestic craft beer, right?” The waitress informed me that a Sam Adams was not… I asked, “What is a domestic craft beer?”
A “I don’t really know – it’s what the companies call some of their beers…”
Q “Well, what are the domestic craft beers that you sell?
A “We have Michelob Amberbock, Michelob Honey Wheat and Michelob Irish Red and a few others.”
Q “Are the others that you sell also Michelob, or are they produced by other brewers?”
A “We also sell Budweiser American Ale.” (saved us a round of Q&A…)
Q “Do you have a list of all of your domestic craft beers?”
A “No, I’m sorry, we don’t. We also sell Busch Zeigenbock – that’s all of them.”

The waitress was really very pleasant, and we weren’t being pushy – we were also pleasant and trying to be as patient as we could be. We were still “all smiles”. I stuck with my Sam Adams… When the waitress returned with the brew, I asked, “Is a Sam Adams on special on a particular night during the week – if so, we’ll be back next time on that night!”
A “Yes it is.”
Q “What night is Sam Adams special priced?”
A “Tomorrow night.”
Q “What is the price?”
A “A little more than the special prices tonight.”
Q “I’m just curious – do you mind finding out for me?”
A “I can tell you right now.”
(waiting with baited breathe…)
A “It’s $2.50”
(almost asking for what size of a glass, but she beats me to the punch!)
A “… for a pint – I think it’s a pint – yah, it’s a pint.”

Finally, I had the complete picture… Dinner was just fine and the service was flawless. And we liked the waitress – and the entire staff at our watering hole was just super, for that matter. But I had to get out my “pliers”, and I had to be careful not to appear to be pushy.

Well, I thought that I had the complete picture. Our next trip to the “pub” on “Sam Adams” night found the sign out front saying: “Specials Today: All Imports On Tap”. My smile faded, but I ordered a Sam Adams Lager anyway. The waitress (not the same as on our previous visit) said, “That’s on special tonight! The special covers your Sam Adams, and all of our import beers on tap except for Guinness Stout.” Our waitress that night was pretty sharp. “Why not the Guinness?” I asked. She continued, “I don’t know why the Sam is an import – go figure, and I think the Guinness costs us too much to sell at the special price. A complete list of our other imports on tap is right here (pointing to a page in their menu) if you want to try something else. Still want the Sam?”

This person understood – I got just enough information as casually as it could be dished out – and with a smile and a friendly touch to my shoulder. There is indeed a fine art to information delivery…

The next time someone asks you a question (yes, it may even be me), think about saying just a little bit more than the concise answer that you are inclined to reply with.

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