trainingreality helping people work better with people
complain and expect more - it's only fair
Please press (at least!) one of these.
It costs you nothing, and (possibly) helps us spread the word!

Low expectations: have them and they'll come true

Monday, 29 March 2010

I complained yesterday. At least, that’s how what I did would tend to be referred to. I’d rather see it as pointing out an opportunity for improvement. There was an opportunity, it wasn’t being seen, and it was achievable. In this article, I want to focus on the very past of these points.

The situation was a very ordinary one. After a swim with my wife and baby, we pooped to the leisure centre café for a drink. I went to the counter and there, right behind the till, studiously avoiding eye contact, concentrating on saving rather than using words, and entirely focused on chewing a plastic lolly stick into submission, was the café’s newest member of staff.

Sloppy, poor service like this is, unfortunately, not particularly surprising, and nor is the fact that I seemed to be the only person who cared about it. As I left, I decided to have a word with the duty manager…


There is an awfully unhelpful set of low expectations that surround some people in some jobs. It would be, and was, incredibly easy to come up with a huge list of excuses for poor performance or behaviour. In a context like this, so of the justifications that could be given are:

In the complete opposite of a cruel way, I really don’t care about any of those things, and here is why.

Get what you expect to get

If our expectations are such that service like the sort I experienced yesterday becomes acceptable, that is the sort of service we will (and do) end up getting. If no-one says anything about it, it’s easy for things to go unnoticed for such a sustained period that they actually become the norm. We will always have people who fit into some (or all) of the categories above, and I don’t want to allow them to undermine the possibility of great customer service.

Expecting little is the unfair part

There can be a view that low expectations (although those holding this view are unlikely to refer to them as that) are the kind option. We ought to let people get away with bad service for reasons such as those listed above.

I profoundly disagree, to the extent that I think it is unfair to hold these low expectations about someone simply because some of these reasons apply. I have experienced exceptional customer service from teenagers, from people new in their role, from young people, from low-paid people, and so on. Giving those factors as an excuse for poor service undermines those who give great service, and labels all people who fall into a particular category as “the same”

There is a broader context

Someone on their first day needs training and coaching. Expectations need to be set, attitudes demonstrated, skills developed and knowledge given. The broader context here was that this training and development simply wasn’t happening. There were three more experienced members of staff behind the counter, only four customers (plus one baby) in the café, and yet no-one was taking responsibility for improving performance.

A complaint/piece of feedback to a manager in these circumstances is actually only partly about the individual concerned. It’s about the manager too, and everyone in between, because they have an enormous responsibility to set standards, lead by example, and train and develop others.


People are often afraid of complaining, even if it is really about giving non-confrontational feedback as a critical friend. However, the chances are that there is no hand-grenade under the counter, nothing awful will happen, and there is a possibility, a small chance, that the efforts you’ve made as a customer will improve the experiences of innumerable people. What a great thing it is that you chose to do that!

Please press (at least!) one of these.
It costs you nothing, and (possibly) helps us spread the word!
Please leave your thoughts and comments here

There are 38 comments
gravatar Jain
October 21, 2016 - 04:45

This blog has been sharing lots of interesting posts that can be used in our daily life to find some special things. Here you have shared an interesting story from one of your unforgettable days. Keep sharing more posts here! dish network channel guide

gravatar Luxury Escape – delhi
October 20, 2016 - 08:35
Subject: Luxury Escape

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work.

gravatar indian marble – delhi
October 18, 2016 - 13:25
Subject: indian marble

Hey,This is a very nice post and vrey is real quality writes as offered on this post.indian marble

gravatar Fiona – CA
October 15, 2016 - 07:45
Subject: re

While searching for information on sewing machine I found this blog. Best sewing machine for beginners under $100

gravatar vbuiy
September 02, 2016 - 16:21

Thank you for the article. It help me learn many new things. New iPhone 8

gravatar Simone
August 30, 2016 - 16:26
Subject: Writing service

Hi Guys, found this service. It is highly useful buy essays online

gravatar research paper writing service
August 20, 2016 - 16:50
Subject: research paper writing service

It was a nice blog. I thanked to for this. It is pretty good,informative,helpful etc.,

research paper writing service

gravatar Dissertation Writing Service
August 20, 2016 - 16:20
Subject: Dissertation Writing Service

Thanks. It was a nice blog.

Dissertation Writing Service

gravatar Dissertation Writing Service
August 20, 2016 - 16:19
Subject: Dissertation Writing Service

Hello, It was a cool website. Thanks for this.

gravatar David – Avalon
August 11, 2016 - 13:03

This website has been helping people to do better works. Most of the people have been marking their complaints on this page as they wish to get a solution from the concerned authority. It is a useful option.

natural face mask

gravatar engineering thermodynamics by p.k.nag pdf
July 30, 2016 - 14:53
gravatar how to lose thigh fat in a month
June 14, 2016 - 00:01

great way of telling, and pleasant post to obtain facts on the topic of my presentation subject matter, which i am going to convey in institution of higher education. check out this blog and find out ways to lose the fat around your thighs

gravatar gmod free no download – HYD
April 23, 2016 - 07:58

Amazon Rolex timepiece is known for both their perfection and elegance. Such a sterling mixture of elegance and quality may be the reason why they control such a high price. Every person internet websites a Rolex snacks it like a valued ownership. If you own a Rolex and want to treasure it permanently, then you have to understand how to take good appropriate proper your observe. A simple appropriate care and primary servicing system will not only keep your Rolex in ideal performing situation for years to come, but will offer the feel that you are dressed in a product new Rolex every time you use your observe.

gravatar custom essay service – alaska
January 23, 2016 - 08:36
Subject: custom essay service

I am grateful that I am able to see your website. Thanks for sharing these ideas. I hope it is fine with you that I use it as reference. I recommend custom essay service for essays

gravatar Blackwell
January 09, 2016 - 11:26
Subject: training

Yoga teacher training must have qualities to become a best yoga teacher

gravatar kamal
December 22, 2015 - 08:14

Now i am playing always free itunes codes and itunes gift card codes for iphone ,ios,ipod touch to get this link free itunes gift card codes without any paying cost than visit here.

gravatar Smith
October 27, 2015 - 07:51

Awesome material! Thanks a lot, dude, for giving this so good material to us. I've just recently completed one of my projects due to the information from this post. Thanks man, once again! Steuerberater Frankfurt

gravatar Term paper writing services – Los Angeles
October 01, 2015 - 07:12

Great concept. Thanks for the valuable info.

gravatar custom essay writing services – united atates
September 05, 2015 - 08:13
Subject: custom essay writing services

Nice post. i recommend custom essay writing services for the students who feel stress in writing.

gravatar new year 2016
August 27, 2015 - 12:11

I am thankful for the article.Really looking forward to read year 2016 happy new year 2016 bonne année 2016 feliz año 2016

gravatar arbazkhan
August 25, 2015 - 19:52

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
Accountants London

gravatar arbazkhan
August 23, 2015 - 10:43

I wish to show thanks to you just for bailing me out of this particular trouble.As a result of checking through the the net and meeting techniques that were not productive, I was thinking my life was done.
Accountants Lingfield

gravatar arbazkhan
August 21, 2015 - 11:04

To say the truth I am very impressed by what you told. You share tons of interesting info, neat and excellent design you’ve got here. It’s certainly one of the most informative stuff on this topic I’ve ever read.
Preparing Company Accounts

gravatar arbazkhan
August 20, 2015 - 16:02

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.
HMRC Accounts Preparation

gravatar arbazkhan
August 19, 2015 - 12:23

such an interesting article here.I was searching for something like that for quite a long time and at last I have found it here.
Tax Return Accountants

gravatar jazz
August 18, 2015 - 21:39

I like your site. Superb submit. It is extremely precise, people ought to learn how to uncover just before they could uncover. lol i realize this particular appears funny nevertheless it is the majority of apparent.. Company Accountants

gravatar arbazkhan
August 16, 2015 - 20:25

Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you've got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon
Self Assessment Tax Returns

gravatar arbazkhan
August 12, 2015 - 11:24

Thanks for such a great post and the review, I am totally impressed! Keep stuff like this coming.
Accountants Sussex

gravatar arbazkhan
August 10, 2015 - 21:12

I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
Self Employed Tax Return

gravatar Matilda
July 30, 2015 - 08:33
Subject: Awesome

Thank you for your great shear. . I am very happy to see this. It is totally useful for me. Once again thanks for sharing.Your blog is really awesome . Please keep it up guys... gymnastic mats URL

gravatar helpdohomework – United States
July 16, 2015 - 10:57

Considered meaningful! Effectual researching!
help do homework

gravatar Yulia – NY
June 04, 2015 - 14:05
Subject: Essay writing help

Earning a bachelor's degree in four years is no big deal for some students. But for others, it's not so easy. And sometimes, it just doesn't make sense to try to graduate in the standard 4-year timeframe. Is taking a little extra time the right decision for you? custom written essays

gravatar Examcollection
March 28, 2015 - 07:11

Before commencing to get ready to the CCIE created, persons normally finish this CCNP assessments. This can be a prevalent training course used, while it is not a new requirement. In fact this specific may lend a hand as part your process to the different topic issues included in this test.Still this specific
Examcollection is not only just an additional extendable regarding CCNP process. Truly, this published analyze incorporates the complete regarding course-plotting and changing by way of Cisco products. The analyze is frequently regarding 2 a long time duration, wherever you will be wanting to experience inquiries of which handle almost anything and also everything inside the Cisco network methods.

gravatar Sara27
March 26, 2015 - 10:23
Subject: Essay

The problem may be in the fact that you just do not have the experience!
But anyway to go to victory! Gloss over them but could not repeat! By the way, I have a good advice! It is ... the best writing help. It is your victory in education!

gravatar Sarah
March 24, 2015 - 10:36

There are many students who are worried about writing effective papers and deadlines for submitting their essay papers are very short. They are in trouble what to do? If you are one of them then you'll batter understand this situation. Now kick away all worries because now you can hire professional writers to ask on my behalf and within the deadlines. I assure you this is easiest way of getting good grades and I hope you guys will find it effective :)

gravatar Anna Mart
March 12, 2015 - 17:26
Subject: Education

I was wondering is there any help that could help me to solve all the problems with deadlines in your university. I was kindly surprised with that service purchase term papers.

gravatar Jennifer H. Butler
January 09, 2015 - 21:37

Its a common thing in students that they prefer hiring others to make assignments. This way they can save much time but you have to put some efforts to get in touch with best essay writing service providers. As if you will not do this, you might get in touch with fraudulent people too.

gravatar jonathan – online
March 30, 2010 - 08:48
Subject: When the waiter asks...

Hmmm I think we have all been there with a surly teenager behind the counter (at whatever shop or store)

I always think what happens when a waiter asks "how is your meal" and everyone says "great" when really it is the worst meal they have ever had.

Eventually, the restaurant will have no customers and they don't have a clue why...

Leave a Comment

? ?

Powered by TalkBack