kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Knowing a good thing when you taste it

Life is not always about turning everything into a comfort zone. In fact, a fair degree of discomfort is necessary for things to happen.

THERE is a restaurant somewhere in Petaling Jaya that I go to quite regularly because of its delicious roast duck.

It is open, as the handwritten sign proclaims, “from 11am until sold out”.

It is always busy and if you go during the normal lunch hour, you will have to wait your turn for a table to be available.

Now, with such a successful business going on, the “economist” in me will say that it should be expanded so that supply will match demand.

My wife asked me, during our latest date there last week, if business would be even better if the owners air-condition the premises and buy new tables and chairs.

The “business expert” in me said no, because ultimately, it is about the content and not the form.

Business is good because the visitors are regulars and the crowd expands because of word-of-mouth advertising.

I suspect they maintain the ambience of the premises because they do not want the people to get too comfortable.

If you put in air-conditioning and throw in free WiFi, chances are the people will stay longer to get out of the hot environment outside, yet still eat the same amount of food.

So, from a business point of view, the renovation costs would take longer to recoup because the actual number of people able to have lunch in the upgraded premises would be substantially reduced.

The “HR expert” in me summarised: The owner of this restaurant does not want us to have a comfort zone here, he just wants us to eat and generate earnings.

Life is not always about turning everything into a comfort zone. In fact, a fair degree of discomfort is necessary for things to happen.

Those of us who start work from the bottom up may aspire for the day when we can enter the comfort zone. So, when you have just table space, you yearn for a cubicle, then a small room, and then an executive room.

Then one day, you think you have finally arrived at your comfort zone where not only are the premises superb, but you have a whole team of people at your command. The things that you used to do by yourself can now be delegated.

Well, many different things can happen at this stage of your career. But I have seen enough to know that the comfort zone desired for in the early stages of one’s career may eventually turn out to be not so comfortable after all, and you may then yearn for the good old days when all you had was just a shared desk.

I have learned over time to count my blessings in the present without projecting into the future, and to appreciate things for their true value.

After all, that’s why people keep going back to the duck restaurant despite the discomfort they may be subjected to – they know a good thing when they taste it.

Soo Ewe Jin ( is much blessed to experience discomfort in the real world with real people, warts and all. The STAR Online Sunday Starters June 30 2013

Tags: good

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