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I Want Can Do!

You could divide your staff into two groups.

CAN DO!!

And Can’t do…or “It’s hard to do” …

New Zealand is a very quiet country, we don’t have screaming birds like Australia, and our people – like the birds – don’t generally scream at each other. It is not a culturally acceptable thing to yell or be pushy or demanding, or to get in anyone’s face, or to demand good service, or to make a big deal of yourself…

I was 14 years old when onto this stage in a very small quiet town in New Zealand walked a relative, who had moved to the USA in his youth. 6’4’’, 250lbs, a huge red beard and mop of red hair. He ran a fleet of crab boats out of Seattle. Big booming voice, a deafening laugh, and fists like hams. Alive, lively always telling crazy stories and having huge definite opinions.

No one in the family could tolerate him. The would be super nice to his face, but behind his back would mock him and his forceful, righteous Yankee ways. One moment I shared with him sticks with me. Forever his booming voice will echo in my mind.

That moment changed me.

Him, myself and two other family members had gone to the hardware store to get some nails and wire to fix a fence. We went up to the counter where the clerk was reading the paper. Big Red said, “ Hey buddy, I’m looking for these particular nails ( describes them ) and this particular wire ( describes it )”…

The clerk without even really looking up… limply gestures toward the isles of the hardware stuff and says “ I’m not sure if we have that… you could look down there”

And goes back to reading the paper…

Note: Customer service in NZ is almost nonexistent – especially in the service industry as there is no tipping. 

Big Red looked shocked … and I saw a terrifying transformation come over him.

He had just HAD IT.

He was used to good service in the USA.

He ran a crab boat crew and the guys on those boats had to be very capable, and go into action right away, or it could be very dangerous.

He had just had it with the “Can’t do / no assistance attitude of people in the service industry in NZ.

He slammed his ham-sized fist down full force on the counter and yelled in a booming voice –

“I WANT CAN DO!!!!!”

I swear everything on the counter jumped a foot in the air. The clerk’s eyes bugged out of his head and his mouth gaped open like a hooked bass…

He yelled again “CAAAAAN DO!!! I WANT WIRE! I WANT NAILS!

The clerk jumped up and zoomed down the aisles like he was on wheels. Guess what? We got the wire and the nails.

I watched the whole thing in awe. The rest of the family members literally ran and hid in the car, on the first CAN DO! They were so embarrassed.

Me and Big Red fixed the fence and had a great day. I think I was grinning for a week.

For years after that, I would yell “I WANT CAN DO!!!!” and slam my fist onto things when someone told me something could not be done.

As I wasn’t massive and had no huge scary red beard this was met with varying levels of success…

But this does not mean it won’t work for you.

Hopefully, you won’t get so frustrated that you have to resort to this method of getting people to get things done.

We at TBA will train you how to get rid of the CANT DO! in your staff and life and get you more CAN DO!

Hopefully without having to scream at people and smash things.

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