Don’t assume anything

I went to test drive a new car a few years ago. They copied my license, handed me the key fob, and said “have a good test drive.”

Getting into the car and looking at the fob I couldn’t figure it out. There was no place to put a key, and there wasn’t a start button like in a Prius. I sat there for five minutes before, frustrated and embarrassed, I walked back into the dealership to admit I couldn’t figure out how to start the damn thing.

Not a good way to sell me.

Don’t assume people know how to start the car. Don’t assume people know what Viognier is. Don’t assume people know that Burgundy is a place. Don’t assume they know White Burgundy means Chardonnay or even that Pinot Noir is a variety. 

You don’t need to dumb things down excessively, but it can’t hurt to remind people in a quick and gentle way of some basic information. 

(Sidenote: I was doing a staff training at a restaurant last week, and I started with a quick quiz on some little cards for the 25 servers in attendance to hand back to me. One of the questions on the quiz: Where is Napa Valley in relation to San Francisco? Nobody got it right. Never assume.)

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