I want you to know that it is your snack bar.
When I was a teenager, I worked the snack bar at the Dale City Roller Rink. Every day, a herd of like, a thousand hungry bible camp/daycare/prison work release kids flooded the joint and they all WANTED A HOT DOG NOW. And their caregiver/wardens would be standing there looking impatient because I couldn’t make five hundred hot dogs or slices of pizza and soda happen all at once. But I would try, I’d be running around trying to get everything as fast as I could so they wouldn’t be looking at me like I’m dumb and slow. And that’s when the mistakes would happen.
In addition to the pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, soda, and pretzels I had to cook and serve, I was also the cashier. And while everybody got their food, I didn’t always get all the money. My rushing would make me mess up the charges or the change. Never a whole lot, but the owner definitely noticed. My mom, after nearly ripping the owners head off for even appearing to THINK I was stealing, sat me down. She said, “These children and their mammies or their owners or parole officers or whoever, are in there trying to get a hot dog. You have the hot dogs. There is nowhere else to get a hot dog in there. So guess what? No matter how long that line is, or how they screw up their faces, they’re going to wait for a hot dog and wait for their change. And if it’s just you over there, and the management doesn’t put two people there when they see the mad throng? Then they don’t care. Now that doesn’t mean you DMV it, but be deliberate. Think about what you’re doing. And the money count is the most important thing. That and cooking those bacteria laden hot dogs well enough not to kill anybody. It’s your snack bar. Take control of it.”
So when you are in a high pressure situation? Don’t let impatient or angry faces and tapping feet psych you out. Don’t look back and realize that you messed something up simply because you let other people eyeball you into sloppiness. Reset yourself with a deep breath. Remember that you know what you’re doing. Smile at each and every one of them and ask “Who is next?”