I used to love Pret. Great food – that Posh Ploughman’s baguette is to die for – lovely people, and WiFi to boot. What’s not to like?
And then it happened. The self-organised queue. All order, structure and certainty in my world collapsed. You can stand wherever you like and then, whenever someone is free to serve you… absolutely terrifying.
To a personality like me, this presents so many variables. How do I know when it’s my turn? Should I be strategic and move quickly? … but then I might be cutting in. On the other hand, that woman who hasn’t been waiting as long as me just got lucky with this random fluid “it’ll all even out in the end” myth.
Of course, this is a great illustration of personality type in action. Despite seeing myself as a wildly spontaneous creative who can improvise his way out of anything, I am actually pretty analytical, logical and totally obsessed with fairness… objectively measured. So for me, this queue is not a queue, it’s survival of the wiliest and if you snooze, you lose. The true flexitarians don’t mind it at all.
SCARF: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness
And then I discovered David Rock’s excellent SCARF model and was quickly able to analyse my discomfort – I have a model now, so I love that.
My Status is compromised – whether or not I am truly “first” in the queue, I am treated the same as a new arrival.
This leads to a complete lack of Certainty – when will I be served?
I have no Autonomy – I’m not in control.
And as for Relatedness, I’m on my own!
So add that all up, and it just isn’t Fair!
SCARF is instantly applicable to almost any tricky conversation, and even the not-so-tricky ones. It underpins pretty much every model we use in training, and ticking all the boxes will bring the best out people.
So what do I do now? Get over it. It’s only a sandwich.
Managing Director, Sun and Moon Training
Picture © David Solomon