June 19, 2018 |

Excuses Don’t Matter

My family and I went to a local restaurant on Father’s Day. It’s a place I really like that has great food. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good experience. Our server greeted us cheerfully and took our drink orders. She delivered the drinks, sans straws, but assured us she’d be right back. She wasn’t. When she came back to take our food order, there were still no straws. Not a huge deal, let’s order food! So, we did. Soon, she came back to confirm the order, exposing that she only had three of our four orders. Straws came. Presumably, food was ordered.
Forty-five minutes in, no food. We flagged her down and got a list of excuses. She got distracted by a large party and had to take their order. Then a “four top” came in and she waited on them…blah, blah, blah. Another fifteen minutes. My wife flags the Manager. He apologizes and says he’ll discount the meal. The food finally comes, complete with another apology and another excuse. The check comes with one last apology/excuse.
Here’s the bottom line. The world does not care about excuses. I certainly can appreciate that the restaurant was busy. But candidly, that’s not a customer’s problem. Customers pay for results. Bosses pay for results. Obstacles are not our problem. The world has expectations. They have no patience for excuses. Oh, there are plenty of people who act like the excuses matter; believing they are justification for all types of mediocrity and failure to deliver.
Pro tip: Don’t make excuses. Ever. Even when you have a very good one; a reasonable one. People don’t want to hear it. Overcome the obstacle; fix the problem. Say nothing about it. Deliver in spite of it. If failure is unavoidable – and it sometimes is – then own it. Don’t explain it. Take your lumps and be better next time.