How long should it take to order and eat dinner when you're with a group of 28 people?
1 hour? 2 hours? 2 1/2 hours? 3 hours?
Here's the deal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Twenty-eight people go out to dinner; they are attendees at an annual convention; they don't see each other regularly. This dinner is organized each year at the convention to reconnect people. We are given a private room. The restaurant agrees to separate checks - which any restaurant owner will tell you is a nightmare. One waiter is assigned to the group. We arrive at 7:00; drinks arrive at 8:00; dinner orders are taken about 8:30. Appetizers start arriving at 9:00. Some people's eyes are rolling. Some people are getting disgusted and bringing others into the fold. Most are sitting and laughing, talking and catching up - talking about their year and what they have learned at the convention. Some are getting disgusted, voicing their disgust and leaving. Those people are all seated near each other. . . . . Hmmmmmmm. Some just politely say they are leaving. A few are expressing their annoyance to the maitre d’. Others are sitting laughing, talking and catching up.
So just a few questions for you?
- Are you in the cranky group or the laughing group?
- Could you or have you ever been pulled into the cranky group? (Be honest, you know Richard doesn't like when you lie) Why did you let it happen?
- Once again, why is it that the cranky people tend to find each other?
- Have you ever noticed how easy it can be to be pulled into the negativity?
- Could this be similar to how certain teams/groups/departments within your organization look and operate? Are you ballsy enough to forward this to them; leaving this bold underline formatting so they actually get it!
Yes, the restaurant should have given us another waiter or a faster waiter, but they didn't. But I didn't feel like writing about customer service. I want to talk about taking some time out for yourself to enjoy an experience, to enjoy times with new and old friends and to accept everything that is out of your control. People too often forget why they are somewhere, the purpose, the real reason. Each and everyone reading this (and one writing this) has been there; we've focused on all that was not right with a situation or circumstance. My challenge to you today is simple: You are not allowed to say a negative thing about anyone or anything. No “But", no “However", and no “The Problem Is". Will you join me today?
Good, now that you're on board. . . .
Why not see how long you can go! For those of you who work in factories where they post those days without an injury or accident counts, maybe we can have a days without getting caught up in negativity? Will you do it? Will you ask your co-workers, family and friends to join you? I hope so. Have fun with it. Create an excel spreadsheet. Take out a piece of graph paper! C'mon, have some fun. It's time for you to take a good hard look!
Or take the easy way out, organize a dinner for 28 and watch the festivities!
So getting back to the original question. . . . . . . How long should dinner take for 28? Personally I think that anyone who expected to get out of there in less than two hours with a group that large was high on something they bought on the streets of NYC. But I don't think that is the point at all if you were in attendance for the right reasons.
Rich DiGirolamo is a professional speaker from Wolcott, CT. To learn more about Rich please visit http://www.richdigirolamo.com or http://www.recessatworkday.com