A Lesson - Setting Expectations

Working front desk at the shop I got in the habit of giving everyone time estimates continuously.

This part, this will take about 4 minutes so I’ll bet we have you out the door in about 7 or 9 or so, Ms Partridge.

Then I would turn to the next folks in line.

Which would mean you, Mr San Peligrino, in about 33, and you, Ms al Shabbaz, will head out the door at approximately 3:26pm, 54 minutes from now.


Repetitive, Contiuous Behavior Comforts

Be it folks in a queue, investors, teammates, cats. Everyone, I reckon.

Oddities in Estimates Get Folks to Focus for a Moment

By not using 5 or 10 or 30 minute estimates, always staying off numbers divisible by five, folks would jar into taking in the info.

Re-calibrating Folks Helps

Hey, the last test rattled the Examiner. Let’s give her 4 minutes to calm her heart.

Laughing Means Listening

When someone laughs, they heard you.

Break Bad News Immediately

Customer: I need a test for court tomorrow at 8am.

Me: It’s 5:03pm. The agency shut for the day. You cannot get what you need from them today.


These general interaction skills transfer to other things like monthly investor reports and sharing bad news during board meetings.

I love cross pollinating lessons.