|Improving Customer Service
Issue # 68 of 70
By: Dr. John T. Self
This Y2K Thing...
There has been SO much talk about this New Year's Eve. Big deal. I'm fairly certain I know what will happen. Imagine the scene roughly nine months from now:
After much build-up in the media about the doom and gloom associated with the coming new year, the restaurant industry has prepared for the worst that the Y2K "problem" can dish out. Not since hurricane scares have restaurants seen such disaster preparation. As this reporter walks into a nice restaurant for the special Y2K menu, I glance at the cases of toilet paper stacked to the ceiling. They were purchased because of the anticipated shortage that was considered a liklihood due to transportation disruptions or a major run (no pun intended, of course) on toilet paper. In fact, restaurants have purchased so much toilet paper that there is a shortage around the country.
After being seated and having eaten a wonderful meal, I glance around at the other customers, as the hour approaches midnight. I can sense everyone's anticipation building. There is a nervous energy that is so apparent, it is almost palpable. One thing that has lived up to the hype is the quantity of alcohol that has been consumed so far this day. It has broken all records in every restaurant in the nation.
Even with champagne prices climbing to astronomical levels, the demand for champagne has been phenomenal to the point where many restaurants have been shorted in their orders. Some of the more popular champagnes have even had to go to a lottery system for distribution. Even swill that has the word "Champagne" hand-written (and misspelled) and was probably bottled in the same neighborhood sold well, along with sparkling wine with screw caps.
Live bands that normally couldn't get booked at the local highschool have been booked for months at nice restaurants at triple their normal rates because of the craving for live bands on this most historic night.
I have paced myself and as the clock ticks to the midnight hour, I take a deep drink right at the birth of a millennium. The big moment arrives as everyone holds his breath. Just before midnight, the manager switches the restaurant's sound system to the radio just as Dick Clark announces midnight.
So what happens?
Then you hear it. A strange sound--actually it is more like the absence of sound. The non-sound that champagne makes when it has gone flat. Curious, you think to yourself, that all the champagne in the restaurant would go flat at once. Then you notice another silence usually in the background of every restaurant. All registers in the restaurant have stopped working simultaneously.
Then you hear another sound: Yes, it sounds like an airplane screaming towards the ground. And then another one, and yet another. Well I'll be...airplanes really are falling out of the sky. Then Dick announces that all of the world's stock markets have crashed, but for some reason, the post office has chosen this time to announce price reductions in stamps.
But what will really happen? Probably nothing except for the following predictions:
And that's all.
Text © Dr. John T. Self, 1997,1998. Part of the original Sideroad.