I went out to the beach early to set things up ... 18 chairs, a portable canopy, two umbrellas, blankets, towels, waters, and bocce. It’s a two or three-trip job.
We were a big group of grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and siblings ... in and out of our land grab all day long until those last few golden hours of sun when the dogs are allowed to join in and the best pictures are taken.
For us, the ideal set up is to get as close to the water as we can without giving high tide the ability to overtake our temporary little oceanfront view and wash everything out to sea.
As I started building things out, a young woman walked by who sets up umbrellas and chairs for people as a service. On her way back by me, I asked...
“Excuse me. Do you know what time high tide is?” I wanted to make sure I set things up far enough back.
“That’s a question for a lifeguard,” she responded.
The lifeguards wouldn’t be out for another hour, so I pulled out my phone to find out. Maybe I should have done that anyway. But, given my work (uh oh) I was genuinely interested in her quick and polished response.
“You get that question a lot?”
“It's well-rehearsed,” I said. She walked away ... seemingly indifferent.
How I’d like to think I’d handle this if I were in her shoes (more below…)
If I didn’t know when the tide would be high, I’d say “Let me find out for you. I'll be right back.”
But, better ... I’d try to know the answers to the top 3 - 5 questions I get all the time so I could be more helpful to people ... a Smover. It might make the job more interesting and fun. I could connect with more people so I can improve my ability to interact with others ... practicing & perfecting one of life’s most valuable skills ... a skill that tends to lead to more opportunities and more fun.
How I’d like to think I’d handle it if I managed or owned the umbrella & chair business…
I’d regularly connect with my team and ask them how they think we might be able to be more valuable to people. Involving others in improving things can create better buy-in ... model, connect, involve, right? I’d ask them what comments and questions they hear frequently and I’d recommend we create helpful answers to the common questions.
Then, I’d remind them at the start of each day or so to be approachable, helpful, and to have fun with the people they meet.
My guess is everyone would have more fun, customers would be happier, and we’d sell even more.
A more enjoyable day for everyone … that’s the goal.