No. 220



A while back I stopped for a bite to eat at a McDonalds Restaurant in Clear Lake, Iowa and was soon standing beside a gentleman who had also placed an order. After about three minutes he turned to me in disgust and said, And they call this fast food. You see, he wanted to place his order one moment and have his food the next. This is a scene that is repeated millions of times all over the world. People who are in a hurry, but in most cases are not going anywhere special.

In reality, because we have so many things in our society today that are instant we have lost much of the joy of life when it comes to slowing down, appreciating those things of lasting quality that take time to produce and even to go out of our way to visit with an old friend. Because this attitude is so pervasive and affects so much of our daily lives, I have dubbed it a fast food mentality. In short, we dont have time because we are in a hurry. But in a hurry for what? A stroke or a heart attack?

These thoughts came to me as a result of a conversation I had with a man a few days ago who owns a restaurant where my wife and I eat from time to time. I might add, this is not a fast food restaurant. He was lamenting the fact that he was having a terrible time getting and keeping good help. He said, In todays highly competitive restaurant business, you have to have good help or you are not going to survive.

At this point he laid something on me that was hard to believe. He said, A few years ago I would have to go through about ten applicants before I could find one that was even worth interviewing, but today that number is up to twenty-five. Can you believe that? This man would have to go through twenty-five applicants (mostly young people) before he could find one that had the potential to even interview. In this case, I know this man and he was telling the truth.

He went on to say that he had just hired a 16 year old young man as a dishwasher who was so good that he gave him a dollar an hour raise after only week on the job. Now, you may not think that dollar an hour raise was any big deal, but you would if you were making minimum wage, which is where most restaurant employees begin.

The reason Im sharing this with you is because all of us who spend our money expect quality and service from those where we spend it. Thats why that man in Clear Lake, Iowa was disgruntled. For the most part we can handle the minor inconveniences we encounter each day, but the problem goes much deeper and its something we should all think about.

The restaurant owner Ive been talking about also said, Isnt it the parents responsibility to teach their children the importance of work and that they must stick with a job long enough to go up the ladder to a higher salary, management opportunity and other long term benefits? The answer to that question is yes.

Here is something else to think about. We have several generations of young people who have never had to work and those who have done poorly or dropped out of school are the ones who are left to apply for those minimum wage jobs. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but most of these young people were not going to do any better on the job than they did in school. It truly does come back to the parents and like most things of this nature, its really a matter of the individual person. If you have young people in your family, what are you teaching them about character and work? (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)