A Beanee Weenee moment is one where reality doesn’t match up with expectation.
No, you’ve never heard of it because it’s completely my invention.
It’s all my dad’s fault really. He inspired the term “Beanee Weenee moment” and it has stuck with me to this day.
Let me explain the back story………
As a kid, my dad ate Beanee Weenee on a regular basis. As goes most things, he grew up and phased out certain foods. Then he married mom and well, he effectively didn’t have to cook anymore.
Fast forward to adulthood and one day while out grocery shopping with mom, he stumbled onto a display of Beanee Weenee.
Immediately transported to his childhood, he decided to buy a few cans. He remembered eating it as a kid and was excited to experience it all over again. He had such fond memories.
When he was relaying the story to me, I asked the inevitable question- “So how was it?”
To which he replied, “Not nearly as good as I remember.” The look on his face was priceless.
And that, my friends, is how the term “Beanee Weenee moment” was born.
So what can we learn from Beanee Weenee moments?
- Memory makes for wistful smiles, but is a lousy guide. Remember how much fun it was to play, rewind and fast forward a cassette tape? No you don’t. You remember your best friend getting mad at you and pulling out the tape from your FAVORITE cassette (true story) as revenge. Or being too poor to afford a Slip & Slide, so you laid out garbage bags instead? You try sliding on wet garbage bags as an adult and I foresee the very real possibility of broken bones, an ER visit, and a string of cuss words that would make a trucker blush.
- You must make expectation = reality. I’m in the service business. If I promise “X” I need to deliver “X”. If you proclaim from the rooftops (and every marketing angle available) that you will do “Y”, then you better damn well do it. You’re setting up the expectation. It needs to match reality. Or else that’s when people get really pissed. For good reason. Think back to a time when you were sold a bill of goods that was complete crap. Not a great feeling right?
- When your customers experience a Beanee Weenee moment (and they will- NONE of us are perfect), you must do everything in your power to align their reality with their expectation. If you make a mistake, apologize. Do your best to find out where you fell down or where in the process there’s a hiccup. If you make an honest effort to fix a problem, most people are quite reasonable. But you have to make the effort. People can smell insincerity a mile away.
- When you experience a Beanee Weenee moment, stop. Take a deep breath. Collect yourself. Because unless it’s a life or death situation (and most situations aren’t thank God), there’s usually an opportunity to eliminate a knee jerk reaction. Ask questions, get an explanation. If the situation isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, by all means start traveling up the food chain. I’m personally not a fan of crucifying someone if he or she is making an honest attempt to make things right. Screaming and uttering profanities certainly doesn’t help the situation. Now, if someone is giving me attitude, blowing me off and shirking responsibility? Oh honey, it’s on like Donkey Kong. And you DON’T want to see the Goddess in a rage.
The moral of the story?
Don’t be a Weenee. But if it happens, regroup, seek a solution and learn from it.