by Trevor Lee

One of my first jobs was a waiter at a chain restaurant in my small hometown. Early on in my training I was shadowing an experienced server. As a part of the training I would write down the orders alongside her and we’d enter them into the POS together. There was a table of four young guys who came in and were a little disrespectful from the start–nothing terrible–but enough to put me on edge. They ordered and about fifteen minutes later their food came out. We stopped by a few minutes later (three to be exact–that was procedure!) to check on them.

“This isn’t what I ordered,” one of the young men told us flatly.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” my trainer responded. “What was your order?”

He told us what he supposedly ordered and then asked to see a manager to report our failure to get his order right. As we walked away from the table my trainer said under her breath, “The customer is always right.”

by Matt Thomas

I spoke with a gentleman a few years back who was hoping to find a new opportunity in Colorado. He was a VP at a mid-market SaaS company on the east coast. He made good money and his career had progressed steadily upward. With strong income, a stable job, and an environment that seemed to value and celebrate his contributions to the company I asked him why he was looking for something new? He responded, “You know, on the surface I am living the American dream. I’ve received promotion after promotion at a reputable company. I’ve made lots of money and for the most part I’ve enjoyed my work. The truth is my marriage is falling apart and I don’t know my kids. It’s time for a fresh start.” After a few seconds of silence that seemed to last for an eternity I told him I’d see what I could do to help. As impressive as his resume and obvious talent were, I was most encouraged by his vulnerability and willingness to do whatever it took to right the ship. He went on to share that the executive he reported to was a hard driver, expecting each of his VPs to put in 80+ hours / week plus regular travel. He hadn’t made it home for dinner on a weeknight in two years.

In a few months we found him a job with a good company on the Front Range. It was a lateral move with little to no increase in compensation or responsibility. Not the kind of jump that VPs making six figures typically make.