I stopped in a local eatery last week. I was hungry and had been looking forward to this meal all day.
I had found out about a new item they had on the menu. It was a chicken burger. But not just any chicken burger.
This chicken burger had been added to the menu at the request of a good friend and customer, a woman named Ruby. Ruby has a thing for chicken burgers.
So the grill was warmed up and the kitchen came alive as the research began that would develop the perfect chicken burger recipe. Of course, once it was perfected it was named the Ruby.
And that’s what I had been looking forward to all day long.
The Ruby was going to be my goal for the day. It was the carrot at the end of the stick, if you will. I went though the day singing a little ditty– “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby will you be mine?”
The anticipation kept building through the day, and was pretty intense as I sat waiting for my order to come. After all, this chicken burger had been judged by Ruby herself and pronounced ‘best ever’!
When my order came I didn’t dive right into the burger though. That would have ended the anticipation—and the anticipation was as delicious as the meal was going to be.
I am no stranger to using anticipation as a feel-good drug. Come to think of it, most of us do it all the time. That’s why advertising works.
Legendary productivity expert and life-style coach Brian Tracy wrote: “The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.”
And I was so close to success now I could taste it.
But I ate the chips first. This is often my technique at the dinner table—save the best for last. It backfired on me when Special K and I were first married though.
About six months after the nuptials I noticed that Special K’s cooking abilities had begun to slip quite badly. She never seemed to serve any of the dishes I preferred anymore.
So I just came right out and asked why that was. She told me that I always seemed to be pushing these things off to the side of my plate, so she assumed I didn’t like them.
Meals around the house improved after I explained what was going on.
That goes a long way toward proving the theory that communication always works best when there is more than just one person involved in the conversation.
But back to the Ruby—yes, it was finally time to give this much-anticipated treat a taste.
The first bite was absolutely amazing! I could hardly believe my taste buds. And my taste buds were coming fully alive too, trying to marry the moment with the flavours I had been predicting all day.
And it wasn’t working—something seemed a bit off kilter. I’d had a general idea going into this what a chicken burger was supposed to taste like, and this wasn’t it.
It seems that when I had placed my order I hadn’t made myself quite clear as I might have.
As a chicken burger, the Ruby that I had in front of me made one heck of a good Reuben sandwich.
This is another lesson about the essential elements of effective communication. Be careful what you ask for— you just might get it.