Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How To Be The Perfect Diner

In the "You're the Boss" section of the New York Times yesterday, a fellow by the name of Bruce Buschel wrote an article titled, "100 Things Staffers Should Never Do." It seems he is opening a seafood restaurant and posted this list to his real-time staffers.

While it was a great list, it reminded me of a humor column I wrote back in '02 titled "How To Be The Perfect Diner" written completely tongue-in-cheek, but after 25 years waiting on tables, you'd understand...and while you're reading it, hum the theme song from "Cheers" to yourself for effect...

How To Be The Perfect Diner

Attention Ladies and Gentlemen, Children, and Others:

I am your server. I am paid to tend to your every wish, get your meal to you on time, and clean up after you. I am paid way below minimum wage, but your tips help me pay for my brand new car outside. I have a family to feed and depend on you to help with that.

I am courteous, friendly, and go that one more step above and beyond to make your dining experience a happy one. I enjoy my job, meeting new people and having a roof over my head.

There are only a few rules I ask you to go by:

1. When you come into the restaurant, abide by the sign at the door that says, "Wait to be seated." It's very hard for me to find you if you have seated yourself. Do not be rude when I finally come to you.

2. I know you are hungry or have driven long distances, but please do not shout at me.

3. When I take your order, please do not stare out the window, talk about the latest party at Ralph's to your partner, or ignore me.

4. Do not expect me to know what you want. I am not you. I do not have the same taste buds as you.

5. Please refrain from calling me, "Hey You!" I have a name as my name tag clearly points that out for a reason.

6. Do not yell at me if it is the kitchen's fault they lost your ticket. I can't be everywhere at one time.

7. Do not blame me if there is hair in your food. It is not mine. Honest.

8. Do not allow your kids to take the straw wrappers and make spit-balls out of them.

9. Do not allow your kids to run around the restaurant, jump up and down in the seats, and make loud farting noises with their armpits.

10. Do not bring a sleepy, tired, cranky, well you get the picture, child in the restaurant because you couldn't find a sitter.

11. Do not bring your kids.

12. If I am very busy, please don't annoy me with your pleading for refills. I will get to them when I have time.

13. Do not call me from across the dining room if I am waiting on another table. I have special talents that you wouldn't want to find out.

14. Don't try to talk to me if another server has emotional problems and needs my shoulder to cry on. This could get ugly.

15. Do not make me do a million things for you and tip only a dollar. Or nothing. I will follow you out of the restaurant and write your license plate down. I have friends in the Mafia.

16. Do not call the 800 number on me. I will swear it wasn't me.

17. When it is time to leave, tell me how much you enjoyed my service and will ask for me next time. This will save you from buying new tires after you leave the restaurant.

18. Don't take me personal when I say, "Have a nice day."

© Dorothy Thompson 2002

Mr. Buschel, am I hired?

How OK! Magazine taught me a thing or two about book promotion

I'm guest blogging today over at Tony Eldridge's blog, Marketing Tips for Authors!

How OK! Magazine Taught Me A Thing Or Two About Book Promotion By Dorothy Thompson: http://bit.ly/49x2rF

See the magazine cover on your left? Look to the right and you see a picture of Jennifer Aniston? I was called by the editor of OK! Magazine to give my opinion of the Jennifer Aniston l Vince Vaghn relationship. My quote appeared in this very magazine in '04.

Seems so long ago. I had put together a book of soul mate stories - true soul mate stories - called Romancing the Soul, and I knew there was a vast untapped online market out there to get me and my book in front of. The thing is, I had to try this, try that, and what happened really became the backbone of my company, Pump Up Your Book Promotion and now, it's wonderful new counterpart, Pump Up Your Book.

One of the great things about newspapers going bust (I don't mean that in a negative way of course) is that what's happening is that they're concentrating now on online measures to get their news out - more so than ever before Back in '04, newspapers were still thriving but the journalists had discovered how to cut a few corners and that was to find what they wanted over the Internet.

If you concentrate on building up your author platform, present yourself in a professional way (great website), write until your fingers fall off about your expertise...someone is going to find you and present an offer you won't believe such as I did the day OK! Magazine's editor called me for a quote.

I can't stress enough how important it is to find an author platform you would be comfortable with. After all, if you can't talk the talk when you walk the walk, people will see right through you. I knew my stuff. Putting together an anthology of true soul mate stories where more than half of it was written by other writers, that's not enough. To make my book stand out, I divided the questions into three sections - Twin Souls, Companion Soul Mates and Karmic soul mates - and through my expertise, I could tell which story fell in which section. As it turned out, it wasn't just a collection of stories, but a lesson in finding and keeping your soul mate and learning why certain people come into your lives.

So, there was my platform. I became the soul mate expert, then gravitated to relationship expert.

Define your author platform, use those key search words in everything you send out. Who knows - there are journalists, magazine editors, book publishers, agents, ect. out there looking for the next big thing. Or, at least a quote. And, believe me, that quote is like getting a gig on Oprah. It could be your big break, open a few doors, or make you believe in miracles.

Monday, November 2, 2009

#7 Hallopalooza Contest Results!

And...we have a winner!

dlodden at frontiernet dot net won a copy of my book, Romancing the Soul!