A long-standing local restaurant in an area out of state. Breakfast is their specialty. We settle in and start to scan the menu for something delicious.
As usual, I read all the reviews through yelp to see what people say is good, great, not-to-be-missed, and skippable.
Then I notice some reviews and a photo that mention little stands in the middle of each table. They are happy / sad faces…bright and flippable. When you need something from a server, flip to the sad face. If you’re all good, keep it happy.
As a former longtime-server, this made mountains of sense to me. A quick scan of the room and I can exactly which tables need something. I don’t have to interrupt people every few minutes and I don’t have to guess. Just flip the sign and I’ll come over to turn that frown back upside down.
Then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if people just had these signs every day? If you’re having a tough time, flip to your frowny face. Need a lift, show us that pout. If you’re all good, beam that smile.
The trouble is, we often have to decipher what people need. People wear masks. Or they just plain hide. You can’t just scan the room and know who needs what and who is all good.
Lord knows I’d be happy to warm up your coffee or bring you extra syrup. I’d even be happy just to chat a bit if that’s what you need.
Here’s your invitation to just flip your sign over if you’re having a rough time. Reach out and tell someone.
And on the flip side, read the room to see if anyone has “flipped their sign” over – are they acting differently than usual? Has anyone dropped out of sight?
The signs are often there if we are paying attention.
A little life lesson from the breakfast spot out of town.