Letter to the editor: How do you make a dull job interesting? | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: How do you make a dull job interesting?

Ralph Ragsdale

Is it possible to make a dull job interesting or, at least, more challenging?

Consider this: Ye Olde College Inn was a steakhouse. One of the waiters usually worked in one of the private party rooms. There was a long table that seated approximately 12 customers. The menu was fixed and featured a steak and fully-loaded baked potato. In addition, customers had three choices: how you want your steak grilled, a choice between two salad dressings and a choice between two sides.

The waiter took all 12 orders without taking notes. Yes, he did; I watched him. After listening to an order, he glanced back to each of the previously accepted orders to reinforce what he had memorized. About 45 minutes later, in he comes with another waiter and two dollies containing all of the trays to be served. After all were served, I noticed two side-by-side customers exchanging salads to obtain the salad dressing each had ordered. Maybe some others should have made similar gestures but chose not to. We will never know. My serving was correct.

Observing that feat led to a few questions in my mind. By what procedure did he gradually develop that skill? Did he start with one memorized order and gradually build on that? If so, how long did it take to reach 12? Did he have a tablet of seat layouts in the kitchen whereupon he could check boxes and then forget what he memorized? That sheet could then be used for placing the orders and for the serving procedure. And to what degree did the feat enhance his satisfaction of the job?

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.