The Not So Grand, Grand Opening


On our way home from visiting Ryan's parents last weekend we decided to stop at the Gilroy Outlets. What was supposed to be a 20 minute, only visit one store, stretch break turned in to a multiple store, 2+ hour break.

Normally I would have been all for staying to shop. However, on this particular Sunday I was anxious to get back to the Bay. We had a large micro market launch the next day that I still needed to prep. Still if it hadn't been for daylight savings, even the knowledge of work to come couldn't have pulled me away from a 70% off EVERYTHING sale at Kate Spade.

With the sun scheduled to set in an hour and a half I was growing more and more anxious (I'm 30 but I still get scared of being at the office alone after dark).

In order to keep shopping and to calm my anxiety Ryan offered to go with me to the warehouse.

We spent 2 hours there making signs, filling raffle bags and loading the car with samples for the next day's festivities.

When we got home I spent 2 more hours making edits to the website and to this blog just in case someone actually subscribed to it at the event.

The next day after staying up til 1am I got up at 5:30am. I wanted to beat traffic into SF. And I wanted to enjoy the set up process rather than being rushed.

On the the way to the launch at 7:30am I received a phone call from our tech. After trying to access the security cameras he realized the kiosk that we would be using for the launch was offline (aka it wasn't going to work). I asked him to come as soon as he could.

At 8:15am I arrived at the launch site. I unloaded my car and started the set up process. At 9:15am the rest of my team arrived to help me finish the setup. At 9:30am our tech arrived to fix the kiosk.

At 9:45am, as we rushed to fill cups with samples of goodies that could later be purchased at the market, our contact asked if we would be ready by 10am. I said yes and we paused for a debrief.

"Yasmin, you'll welcome employees to the launch and pass out flyers (advertising ways to earn $5 - all means of shameless self-promotion). Junior, you'll hand out CK cards, I'll refill samples and instruct people how to use the market after they get their card. They have 300 people on location so we'll be severely out numbered but ultimately our job today is to make sure people understand how to use the market and that they have fun."

At 10am we were at our "stations" and waiting for the swarms of people.

People did swarm, but only the coffee machine that was already on location.

For the next three hours mostly disinterested people trickled in. In all, 23 of the 300 employees on location registered a CK card.

I was annoyed at the lack of interest. I was frustrated that I wasted four hours of a Sunday and sleep prepping for people who seemed not to care, who didn't even show up.

Somewhere in the middle of my pity party, table for 1, I changed my mind. I had what I call "a come to Jesus moment" and realized that people did show up.

Ryan showed up for me when he offered to help me Sunday night. When he gave up football (a big deal in our house) so that I would feel safe.

Curtis showed up when he rushed to SF and got the kiosk online just in time for the launch.

Junior and Yasmin showed up and executed what was asked of them perfectly. They were positive when I wanted to wallow.

And I showed up. I stayed late on Sunday and left early on Monday to make sure things were prepared and that I was in the right state-of-mind to give our customers a good launch.

The party was a hit even if the only guests were me, Yasmin and Junior.

Yesterday was a good lesson for me. A lesson to appreciate the good instead of focusing on the bad. A lesson to let go of the things you can't control and rock the things you can.

Sometimes in the service industry I start to feel like our customers owe us something, like they should appreciate the work that goes in to stocking their break rooms or least appreciate it more.

But the truth is they don't owe us anything.

As vendors our job is to show up.

My job isn't to be the hero but to make the office/facilities manager who trusted me with their break room service the hero of his/her office.

In the future, when my ego gets out of check and my pity party gets a little too loud I'm going to try to practice gratitude faster. Because the truth of it is, is that I have a lot of people who take care of me every day. People who show up early and stay late. People who work hard and make it possible for me to do the things I love. The least I can do is share that love and hard work with others. I can show up for our customers because I have a whole tribe who teaches me what it means to serve.

Moving forward I will show up for customers without expecting anything in return. Moving forward I will try every day to make sure the people in my life know how grateful I feel that they show up for me.


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