How To Empty A Restaurant in 2 Minutes and 38 Seconds

I was in Suzhou, China. It was 1996 and there were few foreigners around. We (an Englishman, a local girl, my girlfriend and myself) were finishing up our meal and the staff wanted to show off their karaoke setup.

The waiter asked if we wanted to sing and we politely declined. He told us they had some songs in English and started flipping through the song book to find them. I commented that I did not know how to sing the songs in their catalogue and my girlfriend told me that with the effort they were making, we should at least sing a few songs or risk insulting them. As I joked that my voice could end up chasing all the remaining customers from the restaurant, the waiter handed me the microphone with the first song queued up. It was Only You.

2 Minutes and 38 Seconds later, still laughing at my interpretation of the song, I saw guests leaving. A quick look around the room told me that these were the last guests. My prophecy had come true and we celebrated by rewarding the staff with a few more performances.

Yahooey’s First Aphorism

“Connecting with failure at an emotional level is crippling.”

That is what I read in Seth Godin‘s blog post ‘After You’ve Done Your Best‘ and it resonated. So I slowly read the line again: “Connecting effort with failure…”.

I realize this is not the same idea and that I like my first, incorrect, reading of the line better. Yahooey’s first aphorism is coined.