Friday, June 6, 2008

Timing is Everything

I keep hearing this in the world of publishing. This is not a world I inhabit, by the way, I just wish I did. Anyway, they keep telling me that timing is everything. It's not enough just to have a great story. It's all in the timing of meeting a publisher and them being in the market for what you're selling and the market being in the mood for your genre, etc. The other day something happened that illustrated this concept perfectly.
We took our five boys out to a family restaurant for dinner. We don't do this often because we simply can't afford it. But on this occasion we did. They fitted us into an extra long booth, designed for six. In case you can't do the math, we actually had seven people at the table. The restaurant wasn't that busy, but the waitress seemed a little overwhelmed at serving so many at one table. She got our drinks, brought out an appetizer and took our order. I think the appetizer was where she got confused, or at least nervous. Those boys dived into that plate of nachos as if they hadn't eaten in at least forty-five minutes! She probably worried that she wouldn't be able to get her hand away from the plate in time. Anyway, when she brought our food, our oldest son's order was missing. She hurried back to get it, only to realize that somehow she had never put his order in with the rest of ours. She apologized profusely and put the order in. Then she disappeared. For quite a while. We saw our son's plate come up in the serving window. Another waitress took it, but the cook stopped her and explained that it was for the other waitress. After a moment, the waitress took it anyway and served it to her customer at the next table. When our waitress reappeared a few minutes later, it took her a couple of moments to figure out what had happened. Then she apologized again, put another order in and said she'd ask the manager about removing his order from our ticket. The manager came over immediately and apologized, took his order and all our beverages off our ticket, and then offered us free desserts. She made and served them herself. That was almost $40 off the price of our meal! Then my oldest son asked if they had any openings. She printed up an application and said obviously they could use help on the swing shift. We never saw our waitress again before we left. I think my son may be getting her job! Just make sure you get all the orders in at the same time, Matt!

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