At work today I decided to make a motivated effort to speak to the latest trainees at the Macaroni Grill. Turnover is terrible in pretty much any job I could get at this point, but there things seem to get progressively worse as time goes on. My poor restaurant is violently understaffed, which only serves to foster a whole slew of problems. As a result, the only people I bother to speak to are the more experienced ones, and have created good working relationships with all of them.
Anyway, Johnny, a fellow server, had entered the restaurant while I was speaking to the trainee, and, as it turns out, was running quite late. He was just about to rush past us when he made eye contact with the trainee.
“What’s up, bro?” he asked, giving the newcomer a “high five.”
Despite being interrupted, I bit my tongue and waited patiently for the exchange to end. Johnny and I are on good terms, or so I thought, there was no reason to cause trouble over something as minor as being interrupted.
Unfortunately it did not stop there, for it was what he didn’t do next that drove me over the edge. Johnny simply walked away and proceeded to clock into the computer without even bothering to greet me. The nerve!
Where was my “high five?” What had I done to him that would cause him to disrespect me so? Hurt and offended, my first instinct was to call Johnny out on it. This was not about him not greeting me, it could have been anyone. I don’t care. This was about the only thing I truly cared about: The Principle.
When confronted about the issue, Johnny was quick to apologize for anything he had done to upset me, even offering me a “special high-five” as condolence. By then (80 seconds later) it was too late to repair the damage that easily, and my keen, analytical mind began to try and decipher the reasons as to why I was slighted. Seeing as his greet consisted of only three words there was very little to decipher, so it was easy for me to determine that the conclusion to his three-pronged attack was key.
“‘Bro?’ What exactly is a ‘Bro'” I asked myself, “And why aren’t I one?”
Come back for the second part of my investigation tomorrow, when things take a surprising turn!