Author Topic: When should you make a decision?  (Read 3151 times)

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Bethczar

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When should you make a decision?
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:51:04 AM »
My husband came back from a doughnut run this morning with a question for me "and my ehell friends".

When he got to the shop this morning, there was 1 person in front of him. The man was slowly and hesitantly picking out a half dozen doughnuts. Now, DH was in no hurry, so he was happy to wait, but it made him wonder a couple things.
1. Should the man have a better idea of what he is getting before he comes in?
2. If there is a line behind you, should you choose faster (i.e., the more people behind you, the quicker you should make a choice)?
3. If DH had been on the way to work, would it ever be permissible to say to an indecisive shopper, "I'm sorry, I'm in a hurry, can I hop in and get my doughnut"?

Again, this is all just theoretical. DH was not annoyed by this man in any way.

guihong

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 08:54:00 AM »
I believe, just like ordering in a fast food place, that you step aside until you have your order together.  But then again, I know I can waffle around in a donut shop.  I think it's acceptable to cut in if you're in a rush.



TootsNYC

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 08:57:51 AM »
When there's any sort of line, I think you should defer to the people behind you if you haven't made up your mind.

If you want to hold your place in line, make up your mind quick.

My brother, sister-in-law, and I were in a Starbucks, sort of in front of the counter. And some woman entered and stood behind us as if we were the line. My brother immediately said, "We're still dithering, you go ahead."

I've been places where you don't want to wait until you decide to get on the line, bcs the line is sort of long. But you need to be decided by the time it's your turn.

Sometimes when I'm at a place like D.Donuts, and I'm hanging back and deciding. I feel like my body language is "I'm still deciding; I'm not ready to order." And then the cashier is a Good Little Doobee and says, "May I help you?"
  So then I say, "I'm still deciding."
Maybe that's what happened to this guy, but he felt pressured by the "may I help you?" and thought he had to immediately respond to that; maybe he didn't feel comfortable saying, at least in its subtext, "just hang around there and wait for me to decide what I want."
   I found that it took a certain amount of fortitude to feel comfortable saying, "I'm not ready to order yet"; it did feel as if I was asking them to waste their time waiting for Imperious Me to deign to tell them what I want.

m2kbug

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 10:38:46 AM »
I think you should know what you want and be ready to order, unless of course, you have questions.  Even then, you need to try to be quick and have a reasonable idea of what you would like in advance.  I do what the above poster does and say that I'm not ready yet and will also let people who just came in behind me to go ahead, if there's a line and I want to keep my place.  I would probably also ask the person if there's someone else who can help if I was trying to get to work and the doughnut selection was taking an insanely long amount of time, especially if the line was growing.  Of course you should always plan extra time for yourself if you're stopping on your way to someplace.   

gen xer

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 10:42:32 AM »
 Yes...you should be able to place your order reasonably quickly.  I mean I am good with someone taking aminute or so but it is a pet peeve of mine when someoen holds up the line with their indecisiveness.  If you haven't decided the polite thing is to let the next person in line go ahead.

My eldest daughter seems to be struck dumb when it comes to placing an order.  I am trying to encourage her to order for herself without me speaking for her but I plain won't allow her to hold people up. 

POF

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 10:50:28 AM »
I wish D.Donuts would list the donuts available.  They have so few kinds now ... that I sort of have to pick or get yucky ones. ( I rarely get them and when I do - I want a fav. ) I 'm short -so I can't see the selection until I am right up on it.  So I sort of understand the man in line deciding.

Kaypeep

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 10:58:55 AM »
I don't go to Dunkin Donuts often enough to know all their donut options, and my vision is such that I can't read the flavor signs or see the donuts well until I'm actually at the counter placing my order.  While I'm mindful not to dither and try to place the order quickly, I'm sure someone behind me who only wants one thing will be impatient and think I'm not ordering fast enough.  (This same situation holds true for when I'm at most fast food places, because I rarely eat at them, and they seem to constantly have a zillion signs up promoting seasonal menu options on top of the regular choices, and it's just overwhelming TBH.)

I don't think there is a correct answer to this question.  I think some business models and some people do require extra time to conduct business, and it simply will take them longer to place their orders, and that's part of life and people in line behind them need to just wait their turn patiently.  I'm talking about reasonable delays due to placing long orders, complicated orders or simply working out with the staff what they have (because not everyone is a regular customer and knows the menu.)  The exception to this is when someone just simply drags things out without a care for the line behind them.  For example, people who run back to grab "one more thing" at the grocery store and then wait for the order to be rung up and bagged before whipping out their checkbook to pay by check, or people who place large orders and only after they are all done starts to tell the cashier they need to pay for each one separately, etc...

In other words, I think some delays are reasonable, and don't make the customers SS or difficult.  The example given in the OP is one such case.

Dindrane

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 11:19:43 AM »
I think if it's possible to know what the choices are before you get up to the counter, you should be ready to order (without dithering) when you arrive at the counter.

But, I've been to a lot of stores where you walk up to a counter to order that actually make it rather difficult to know what you want when you get there. Stores that display their selections often put them behind the counter (where they are hard to see, even if you have good vision) or have the line for the counter right in front of the display case.

There's a bakery/coffeeshop that my husband and I go to sometimes that is extremely popular. Their set up is that they have a long glass display case where all of their cakes and pastries and such are displayed, and there are usually 2 or 3 staff members at that display case taking orders for food and for any drinks. Because of the way the store is set up, the only place for the line to the cash register to go is right in front of that display case. It's often crowded enough that the line wraps back on itself, so you often really can't see what's available until it's time to give your order. There's also a lot of variation in what pastries and cakes they actually have available on any given day, so even regulars won't always know exactly what they want until they can see what the choices are.

In a situation like that, when that particular bakery is crowded, I think people should try to avoid dithering as much as possible, but there's going to be a certain amount of that no matter what. There's really nowhere to stand off to the side to make up your mind (and you wouldn't be able to see anything to make your mind up, anyway). People could probably let others go ahead if they were still deciding, but often the people behind them also wouldn't know what they want because there'd be no room for them to stand in a spot where they could see what is available.

But in general, I do think people should do whatever they can to make up their minds before they get in line to order, and at the very least, know what they want to order by the time they reach the counter. To go along with that, I really wish that more stores made paper menus you could read while standing in line available, or at least had lists of what was available displayed in a spot you could see before you got in line. The bakery I mentioned above would probably be a lot less chaotic if they had a list of their baked goods displayed outside the shop next to the entrance. It wouldn't necessarily allow people to make up their minds completely (since visual appeal is important, too), but it would help.


siamesecat2965

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 03:16:25 PM »
I don't go to Dunkin Donuts often enough to know all their donut options, and my vision is such that I can't read the flavor signs or see the donuts well until I'm actually at the counter placing my order.  While I'm mindful not to dither and try to place the order quickly, I'm sure someone behind me who only wants one thing will be impatient and think I'm not ordering fast enough.  (This same situation holds true for when I'm at most fast food places, because I rarely eat at them, and they seem to constantly have a zillion signs up promoting seasonal menu options on top of the regular choices, and it's just overwhelming TBH.)

I don't think there is a correct answer to this question.  I think some business models and some people do require extra time to conduct business, and it simply will take them longer to place their orders, and that's part of life and people in line behind them need to just wait their turn patiently.  I'm talking about reasonable delays due to placing long orders, complicated orders or simply working out with the staff what they have (because not everyone is a regular customer and knows the menu.)   
In other words, I think some delays are reasonable, and don't make the customers SS or difficult.  The example given in the OP is one such case.

POD. the same holds true for me. While I have a general idea what DD has, and know what I like, they don't always have my favorites, or sometimes have something new that i want to try. So while I may not know specifically what I want right as I order, I generally can figure it out within 15-20 seconds.

Same with fast food; i very rarely eat it, and the menus are always changing. But if I really needed more time, and I have done this, no matter where I am, I'll let whoever is behind me go ahead.

I routinely go to Panera on the nights I work. Its right next to job #2, and I grab something quick for dinner. I eat there enough I know the menu practically by heart, and many times I'm standing there, waiting behind someone who a. has no clue what they want, or b. is part of a group of family, and has to poll each and every one as to waht they want, which takes time. And then each item has to be explained in minute detail...I only have 30 mins tops to get my food, sit and eat, so that drives me nuts.

in those cases, sometimes I'm trying so hard NOT to roll my eyes, and as they've begun to order, I have to wait and can't ask if I Can go ahead.

mich3554

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 04:14:57 PM »
In my experience, when I go into the donut shops I often have an idea of what I want to order but by the time I get to the counter to order, everything I want is gone.

I watched it happen the last time I bought bagels.  I was the third person in line and by the time I got to the head of the line to place my order, I had to change it 3x.

So really to answer this, it's quite impossible because it largely depends upon the situation.

veronaz

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 04:45:03 PM »
First of all, Bethczar, thanks for making me crave donuts.   :D

If I go into a donut shop – especially if it’s my first time – I might not know exactly what I want until I see the selection.

If there is a line, I would probably step aside while I make up my mind and enjoy the aroma.

If I am behind someone who is in the middle of their order, and they are slow, I think it would be kind of rude to ask to go ahead of them.  If I was late for (work or whatever) then maybe I should have left earlier.  ;)

If they don't know what they want, the cashier should take care of the next customer while they decide.

Even if they know what they want, sometimes there are things on the menu board they haven't seen before.  They need a few seconds to decide.

A few weeks ago I was behind a lady who apologized to me for taking so much time with the card machine.  I said “No problem, take your time.  Don’t let people rush you – your money spends as good as mine.”

bopper

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 04:47:45 PM »
DD is set up so you cannot see the available donuts until you get up to the counter.  If this was the guy's first time, then he may not know what he would want to get (or what others might like).

shhh its me

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 04:56:52 PM »
   I think buying a dozen doughnuts gets a special dispensation ;)  Not knowing exactly which 12 doughnuts you want isn't the same as not knowing if you want a cheeseburger or fish sandwich. So the dithering happens a little differently ...I'll have 2 pumpkin spice ...um....2 crullers...erm ....3 strawberry ..ummm how many is that? do you have those white cream filled today?

Deetee

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2014, 05:00:47 PM »
I think it is reasonable to take the time to chose the donuts that you want. Picking up donuts should be fun! I'm saying you get to dither forever, but a little hestation as you make your decision s just fine in my books. You want to look at them, right?

camlan

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Re: When should you make a decision?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2014, 05:02:40 PM »
The way my DD is set up, I can see some of the donuts available while I'm waiting in line. But there's always the chance that the customer in front of me will buy the last of my favorite donuts, and I'll have to pick a substitute on the fly.

I do think that in some cases, the person behind the counter can speed some customers along. "Why don't you take your time choosing, while I help out the next customer. Is there anyone just getting a few donuts?" They do this at my favorite bakery, and no one seems to mind.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn