Better later than never…A What I Watched
Have you seen this show yet? It works in the same way the Food Network Restaurant Impossible: a failing establishment calls in experts to put the business on track. Though I suppose part of my interest is in being a voyeur to someone else’s problems, I really find the science behind a successful bar to be fascinating.
But on last night’s episode there was a point or two that really resonated with my life, both personal and writing. The owner of the failing sports bar had two issues contributing to his downward spiral. One was apathy and the other was theft.
I want to talk about the second one first.
Theft is theft. In almost every episode of this show I’ve seen a contributing factor to the lack of profits is over pouring. That is, the bartenders are putting more than the standard ounce and a half into the drinks. In this case however, it went beyond not knowing how to make the drinks or even the occasional over-pour. These bartenders were consistently doing it, and flaunting it to their customers, to increase their tips. The flip side of the coin being — costing the owners their profits.
As the host – and expert – explained to the owner, they were stealing from him to line their own pockets. And he’s right.
My husband’s uncle used to boast– or rather his wife would– that he would come home from work everyday with a roll of toilet paper and some lightbulbs in his lunchbox. She was actually dreading his retirement when they would have to go back to paying for these things. If I’d ever had the nerve to call her a thief to her face, she would have denied it because it wasn’t cash they were taking.
Theft is still theft. Whether your lining your own pockets, lying about where money is going, or stealing someone’s future hopes, it’s theft.
Apathy. The second issue that was causing this business to fail was owner apathy, and probably the worst case I’d ever seen. Boy, could I relate though. Try, try, try becomes a hard thing to do when you can’t get ahead. When doors slam and the only resounding chorus you hear is no. Lingering doubts can grow into a numbing disinterest. Who wants to sign up for more rejection?
What I loved about this episode though, and what I gripped onto with both hands, is that when the owner was given the tools he needed to succeed, a spark returned to his eyes. The drive to make things better took root. He was excited about his business again. The apathy disappeared.
One of my favorite saying that I offer to those who around me when they complain about something being too hard is “Life’s tough, get a helmet.” Living by that motto can be really hard though. Thanks to Bar Rescue, however, I’m reminded that apathy can be your worst enemy.
So, here’s to getting a helmet (and some good tools) and persevering.