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She Made It Up As She Went

by Greg Tamblyn - Years ago I waited tables at a Nashville health food restaurant that didn't serve meat, but did serve alcohol. Meaning, you couldn't get a hamburger, but you could get hammered. I always wondered, "How healthy is that?" Then of course there was the constant question of what wine to serve with tofu. "Excuse me, waiter, what vintage do you recommend with this white, slimy, fermented bean curd?" Well, the tofu is very yin, so I suggest something very yang, like Chateauneuf de Coca-Cola."

But the best part about the place was the Korean owner, Hae-Yung. She had never been trained in the restaurant business, so she just made everything up as she went along. She had one of those charismatic, forceful personalities that gets things done by being impossible to ignore. This resulted in some episodes one doesn't normally see in your average restaurant.

For example, if someone sent their food back once too often and Hae-Yung thought they were being too picky, she used a combination of interrogation and counseling. "Why you send your food back so often? You not happy person? Maybe you should go home and think about it. Come back when you are happy." We all loved it. This is the kind of important feedback waiters always want to give problem customers, but rarely can without getting fired. Hae-Yung would do it for us though, so it was almost as good. She was the Buddhist Soup-Nazi: direct, but more compassionate.

Hae-Yung showed me that creativity and determination can often overcome inexperience. She would rather try something new, make a mistake and correct it, than do nothing for fear of failure. She made sure we felt appreciated and part of a family, and as a result, most of us felt like coming to work. She gave us a lot of rope, expected us to be honest and perform to her expectations, and most of us exceeded them.

About the Author:
Get free song downloads, humor videos and articles from Greg Tamblyn, Motivational Humorist, singer, songwriter, and author at Event Planners: get free resources at
Mail to: [email protected]

Copyright © 2009 Greg Tamblyn

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