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When Consultant-Driven Behaviors Backfire

When the waitress quickly became the third employee to ask the guest his name, I began to wonder...

"A dinner guest walked in. The hostess asked his name.

"The guest got to his table. The busser bringing the waters also asked the guest his name.

"Then his waitress arrived, and quickly became the third employee to ask the guest his name, in the course of maybe seven minutes.

As the waitress passed the bar on her way back from the table, I decided that...I had to try to find out what the devil was going on...

"The waitress’s candid answer:

"'The hotel hired a consultant who’s created some new survey they’ve started sending out. And one of the questions we are most heavily rated on—people have actually been fired over this!—is 'did your server use your name?' So we all figure, we’ll make sure we hear your name just before we have to use it. We don’t want to be the next one fired.'”

For more on consultant-driven behaviors that go haywire, see the Forbes article from which this is excerpted at

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