A field report about Taco Bell? Of course, we always try to keep it classy. But, in all seriousness, Taco Bell is a great place to not be, well, serious. David and I stopped by Taco Bell recently to get some food for a family member whose identity we won’t reveal. We weren’t about to let the situation slide by without doing a little bit of magic.
When we got to the register the lady working clearly looked like she didn’t want to be there or deal with us. For us, that was an open invitation, of course. When she asked us what we wanted, we said tacos. She told us that they had briefly run out of beef, but would have more soon.
Taco Bell running out of beef could either be annoying or an opportunity for laughter. Obviously we chose laughter.
David (smiling): “We have some cows for sale if you’re interested.”
Employee (very serious): “Um, OK.”
Me (also smiling): “He’s right and we’re letting them go really cheap because they’re diseased.”
Employee (now smiling): Um.
Employees in Back (laughter)
Then, we continued with our order and she was much friendlier to us and the customer behind us.
Basically, we cut through her obvious wall to interaction. I’m sure working at Taco Bell has to suck. David and I know that and don’t expect her to “serve” us. So, I’m sure our empathy came through when we talked.
Second, we used humor with her. Everyone, even those with high walls to social interaction, still wants humor and fun in their lives. The walls to get to it are just higher. Notice our use of observational and situational humor.
Finally, we didn’t let her attitude scare us away. Was she beautiful? No. Was she nice initially? No way! But, we saw her as a human being worthy of our attention. Not only that, but we saw her bad attitude (which was really probably just shyness combined a lack of joy in her job) as a challenge.
Next time you go out and order some food turn it into a chance to meet someone new, have a little fun, and make someone else’s day a little better.