At work recently, I’ve been angry. (My capital “W” Work is coaching people on their journey to hone their craft, their voice, and their mission, but I still earn most of my money in a restaurant serving tables. Covid-19 has changed that game).
We used to staff five to seven people along with one or two bartenders every night, serving from two to four hundred people at the restaurant. Now we staff two to four people a night, and rarely serve more than one hundred people. Most nights it’s fifty or less guests. (We’re all have to make drinks). We’re essentially a new restaurant, but with the same name. Getting used to that new restaurant has been hard.
The other night we scheduled two server/drink makers, but when the night started we had nearly sixty guests scheduled to come in, mostly between 7 and 8 PM. That’s a lot. Then more guests came in. I got overwhelmed and frustrated. Who wouldn’t? I was stuck in the rules of the old game. In the old game I attended to six tables and served three consecutive parties over about six hours. In the new game I’m given a dozen tables. I might serve four of them in an hour, or none of them, or all twelve.
The old game says the new game is impossible.
The new game says figure it out and be happy I have an opportunity to try.
The new game isn’t fair, easy, or even vaguely doable according to the rules of the old game. But the old game doesn’t exist anymore. Getting angry won’t revive the old game, but it does make the new game nearly impossible to navigate, leaving me with one question, which hopefully leads to others: How do I play the new game successfully?
Another new game is balancing creative work with the new-old restaurant game. I’m committed to showing up everyday. Some days I complete a project. Other’s I have to stick tags in the places I’d prefer to see completion: