I love French toast. It’s one of my weaknesses. And when I go out for brunch, it’s often the very thing that I order. Recently, my partner and I drove to the cafe in the next town because we know they do a great French toast. But when we got there, the ONLY thing on the menu for the day was “bacon and egg rolls”.
We were perplexed. We’ve been to this cafe many times and they’ve always had a huge array of breakfast and brunch options, many of which are delicious – especially the French toast.
The cook (yes the very genius who creates the delicious French toast) wandered out of the kitchen. We recognised each other so we started to chat. Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: Oh hi, how are you today?
Cook: Well thank you. How are you?
Me: Great. Can we order French toast?
Cook: No, sorry. Only bacon and egg rolls today.
Me: Oh. Why?
Cook: It’s my day off.
Me: Oh. Um. But … you’re … here.
Cook: I know. It’s meant to be my day off but the Tuesday cook is off sick. So I’m filling in.
Me: (*puzzled*) Oh. OK.
Cook: (*trying to explain*) The Tuesday cook only knows how to make bacon and egg rolls.
Cook: So that’s why I’m only making bacon and egg rolls.
What the …?
I’m pretty sure that the cook was being paid her usual wage, regardless of whether she had to make French toast or not. And I also know they had all the ingredients for the dish. So clearly, this was demarcation gone crazy.
The cook wasn’t trying to be mean or difficult. She just felt this was the most logical thing in the world.
It’s a situation I sometimes see in corporations and businesses. People feel that if they fulfil the minimum requirements of their role – or brief from a client – this is enough. And they’re right. It IS enough. But if you want to impress, make a name of yourself, get a pay rise or build your personal brand as someone who gets recommended by your peers or bosses, think again.
Your personal brand – whether you are an employee, manager or entrepreneur – will be forged by your actions. Trust me, whether you like it or not, you’ll be judged by the decisions you make.
So the next time you’re faced with a decision about whether to go the extra mile (or even just the extra inch), I hope you take the French toast option.