My favourite pub, The Rat Inn, has chosen to close on Mondays.

Not due to Covid.

It’s because they can’t find enough staff to provide the service they are known for.

They’ve tried letting patrons know and still some customers kick off.

After a horrendous 18 months, the hospitality industry is being hit again with the challenge of not being able to find enough people.

And it’s not just hospitality. There are staff shortages and stress everywhere.

I have a friend with a transport business which is missing the odd delivery. Not many but it still pains him.

Would you like to be working in retail right now? Supermarket staff are being abused by aggressive shopers.

The consumer who doesn’t know that the venue is short staffed and has high demands is p**ed off.

The company which wants to provide great service is p**sed off.

The staff who are holding the fort with less hands and resources than are needed are p**sed off.

Everyone is…

But what if we were a little more patient?

What, if rather than being demanding, we were tolerant?

What, if instead of wanting everything faster, we were happy to wait just a little longer?

If things were ‘normal’ I would be one of the first to encourage business owners to promise and over deliver.

However, I use a special diagnostic tool. It’s called current reality.

And the reality, right now, is it’s harder than ever.

The next time we must wait a little longer, or can’t get exactly what we need, or have to make a compromise, please don’t kick off with the poor people who work there.

Even in your head.

They’re doing their best.

Instead, flip it; share some love, at least smile and say thanks.

Your best may be different from another’s best.

But it’s still their best.

That’s why the popular expression is ‘doing your best’ rather than ‘not performing to others’ expectations‘.

Let me know what you think below.

Be Brilliant!



  1. August 26th 2021 by Judy Brulo

    The late Robin Williams said, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

  2. August 26th 2021 by Heather Stevens

    Totally agree Michael!

  3. August 26th 2021 by Alistair James

    So very true, BE KIND! Same goes for NHS staff, you’d be surprised how much stick they get even now. And a huge shout out to the reception staff, who really do care and aim to help patients, but are working in a struggling system.

  4. August 26th 2021 by jim hetherton

    Brilliant message, which is like you 🙂 How soon we forget it, we where “Clapping” every week for our key workers, we will all need to deal with reality of Brexit Britain

  5. August 26th 2021 by Moya Lydia Goatley

    Totally agree. I’ve had my knee replacement op cancelled. No point in riling against something over which we have no control. Kindness, just an understanding smile makes an appreciable difference.

  6. August 26th 2021 by Lynda

    Absolutely perfect message – spot on! Just wish everyone could read it and implement.

  7. August 26th 2021 by Avril Owton

    I worked in hospitality for 42 years and people were impatient then before Covid. To have fresh food cooked by the chef takes time otherwise go to a fast food chain! They would often leave and when we asked if they enjoyed themselves their reply “I can’t find anything to complain about” as if they were disappointed!! We live in a lovely country and although things might not be as good as they were before Covid we need to count our blessings and look at how some other countries are suffering with conflict, hunger, raging fires and human suffering. Just be patient and enjoy your life.

  8. August 26th 2021 by Louise Skinner

    Once again Michael, you’ve perfectly made the point. Do the complainers understand that it is a privilege to be “served” by someone, however challenged their situation may be? We should all be counting our many blessings rather than sniping at each other imho. My thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan at this moment, many of whom would love to live a life without fear, or simply live! Most of us in the UK have NOTHING to complain about. Kindness and empathy cost nothing and should be given freely at all times imho.

  9. August 26th 2021 by Mel Penrose

    A good point well made but touches on a much larger topic. Generally, people have become much more selfish, putting themselves first – the I-deserve-its. If everyone made an effort to: pick up litter and dog poo, not park on pavements, took the time to pass the time of day with a neighbour, be polite and, if finding nothing pleasant to say, kept quiet this world would be a better place. Others before self rather than me,me,me is not a bad mantra to try to live by.

  10. August 26th 2021 by Noel Wincote

    Some of it is down to the power that be in introducing competence certificates in all manner of jobs which does help those wanting job who haven’t got one or can’t get one, shame on them.

  11. August 26th 2021 by Susie

    I really appreciate your words ❤️I work in a supermarket, I just wish more people would stop and think we are the same as everyone else but boy I always end up feeling a robot not supposed to have any feelings just deliver service that is demanded! .. I’m human as we all are and with that comes all the good and bad that we all feel …. Perhaps robots for my job is the answer .

  12. August 26th 2021 by Angela

    Great thoughts but after being in phone queue starting at 17th position to book a regular blood test with surgery- I was not feeling the love. Nearly 35mins wait for answer. ☹️

  13. August 27th 2021 by janet birkmyre

    This article is right on the money (as always), I wish I could put it under the nose of so many customers!

    For now, do you have any advice for the customer service staff who are truly doing their best but, due to genuine reasons beyond their control, service levels are falling short of expectations?


  14. August 27th 2021 by Tom

    Great point well made Michael. As one of my Team17 group colleagues said in one of our meetings – “lower your expectation and be less angry/stressed/disappointed”.
    HOWEVER we shouldn’t let all businesses or public services use these strange times for an excuse to hold back services, provide poor CS, or just do less because they can… anyone?? 😉

  15. August 27th 2021 by Alison

    A company that sells my favourite boots has recently stopped listing the UK as a shipping destination as they found custom delays etc where meaning they had to honour their promise of delivery within x days or your goods are free promise, more often than was viable. After a quick conversation, they have agreed to continue to take on my orders as I am happy to have the boots even if I have to wait a little longer for them at the moment – actually I don’t think they would have needed to honour their promise for any of my deliveries as they have been really fast. They hope to get back to normal soon but in the meantime I have had several pleasant exchanges with their customer services department thanking them for their efforts and letting know when my parcel arrived and how happy I was with them. A little effort on both sides made everyone’s days better

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