Maintaining Mystique (Issue 1145)

In which we are reminded to honor the magic - to align how we provide services or products with clients’ expectations.

Rainier cherries or black cherries?

Both varieties looked morning-sunlight juicy. My son and I had stopped at this display after wandering through an expansive Saturday morning farmers market for 45 minutes. He was hot to have fresh cherries to take home. In the course of our wander, we’d seen, probably, ten different vendors offering cherries and other fruit. He felt attracted to this one, a vendor with three six-foot long tables laden with green pint boxes of beautiful dark red and yellow-blush cherries.

He made eye contact with the person behind the table. “Tell me about your cherries”, he asked.

“The dark mahogany ones are Tieton cherries,” she said, “and the yellow blush cherries are Rainiers. They’re both sweet, however, Rainiers are considered a premium type of cherry because they have a thinner skin and lower acidity level which means they taste sweeter than the red cherries.”

And, as she was saying this, she reached under the table and pulled up a plastic bag of Rainier cherries, a bag just like the bags we would have found in a grocery store produce department, poured the cherries into several green pint containers, and added them to her display.

“Thank you,” said my son and he turned away from the table. “Let’s go.”

“Why?,” I asked. “The cherries looked great.”

“I don’t want to buy farmers market cherries that came out of the same packaging I could have found at a grocery store.”

(“Same cherries,” I thought as we walked away, “but he wasn’t expecting the bag…”

Several years earlier, I took myself out to dinner at a local icon –  a long-time wildly popular trend-setting new American cuisine restaurant that had long been on my wish list. Seating in the main dining area was full so I sat toward the rear of the restaurant at an eight-seat counter from which diners could look into the kitchen. The counter formed one “wall” of the kitchen area. In fact, one of the chefs welcomed me and took my dinner request.

As I settled in to wait for my dinner to come up, I watched the flow of work… who did what, from where they pulled food to cook, how they plated food to be served, what they did with used pots and pans. Just in front of me, two of the team were working on sauces. From time to time, a more senior team member inspected their work; each time, he pulled a small spoon from a metal cup next to the stove, dipped it into a sauce, put the spoon in his mouth to taste the sauce, and then replaced the spoon in the cup. I watched him do this a dozen times while I waited… same spoon, same cup.

“That’s disgusting,” I thought, “and, even if it’s not a health code violation, it’s NOT what I expected.”

As they prepared what turned out to be my dinner, he did the same thing.

After a long pause (thinking I should walk away but considering that, if I’d been in the dining room, I never would have known about ‘same spoon, same cup’), I ate the meaI.

I never went back.

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tagged with:
Navigation Menu