Friday, February 5, 2010

What's the Code?

I just finished breakfast at a Waffle Shop in Jacksonville, NC, home of Camp Lejeune, where many of our Marine heroes are stationed.

I'm always amazed in restaurants where the waitpeople (see, wasn't that politically correct?) shout out the orders to the cook and the cook rarely makes a mistake.

When I went to the counter to pay for my meal I said to the, that's not right...she was female (well, now that's kind of redundant, isn't it?)...ok, forgive me...the waitress, "How does your cook remember all these different orders with different people shouting different things?"

She said, "It's all in The Code." And she told me.

Here's an example: When the waitperson starts shouting a new order the cook pulls down a new plate. Depending on what the order is the cook puts different small items on the plate to signify what the order will be. If it's a cheese omolette they will place a piece of cheese on the plate; toast, a plastic container of jelly, and depending on the kind of toast (plain, whole wheat, etc.) the container may be right-side up or upside down; hashbrowns are signified by a couple of pieces of grated potato; and so on. If you know The Code you can read the plates and predict the orders.

Every workplace, every relationship has codes. Certain words, looks, movements, body language and tones of voice are codes for feelings, attitudes, actions, and thoughts. Poker players call them tells; indicators that tell other plays what type of hand the teller has. If you know The Code in any situation it makes it a lot easier to get along and get things done. If you don't know The Code, you're lost.

Taking the time to learn The Code is what's difficult. We want things to work immediately, without taking time to learn The Code.

Slow down a little. Ask yourself what some of The Codes in your life might be. And, here's a twist: If some of the things that people say or do in your life are codes for unpleasant, contentious or problematic thoughts or actions....think about changing The Code. When you see a negative code or tell, do something different and see if you get a different reaction. If so, you've created a new code.

Finally, as everyone but an armadillo in West Texas knows this is Super Bowl weekend. According to the oddsmakers in Vegas the Colts are coming in a 5 1/2-point favorite. The Saints are getting a lot of sympathy due to the city's recovery after Hurricane Katrina, but a lot of other folks are pulling for Peyton Manning (ironically, a son of New Orleans), the Colts' quarterback because they believe he
is one of the greatest quartebacks ever...and you have to win multiple championships to be crowned One of the Greatest.

My prediction: Colts 44 - Saints 34.

Enjoy the game.

See you on Monday.

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