We Need to Change a Few Things

By KellyAnn Bonnell

This summer I was invited to a birthday party of a dear friend. I was told it would be at her favorite restaurant so I didn’t bother to look up the address when I was ready to go to the party (bad move on my part because they’d opened another location). Anyway, I’m half hour late when I arrive at the restaurant that I THINK is the location of the party. When I arrive I’m greeted by the hostess of the restaurant. When I tell her I’m here for the party she tells me there is another gentleman waiting in at the bar, that they had no record of the party and that they are quickly trying to set up a party room for 40 guests. At this point I pull the invitation up on my phone, discover its at the new location and the gentleman and I depart to the party arriving over an hour late. We all ┬áhad a good laugh at my expense.

However, while me and my friends were out the simple resource of time; the restaurant owner was out a great deal more. First, because I was kept at the wrong location, I did not order a meal when I arrived, so the restaurant lost revenue from my meal. Additionally, at the first location, the hostess had diverted wait staff and bus staff to set up for an event that wasn’t happening. This probably meant slower and poorer customer service to existing customers which may have resulted in restaurant guests skipping desserts or ordering after dinner drinks. In other words this one employee’s lack of problem solving skills may have resulted in hundreds of dollars in lost revenue.

Let’s face it, few Arizona schools are effectively preparing their students to become our employees. Something has got to change.

When we started Pop Goes the Classroom, its was a way to give back to our community. A way to provide teachers with some innovative training at no cost to the districts. Since that time we’ve come to realize that its more than that. Our state simply does not provide our schools with the resources necessary to develop the next generation workforce for our state. Not only are our classrooms underfunded but today’s repeal of the Common Core Standards will mean more financial resources that should be in our classrooms being poured into identifying something new that isn’t going to help the kids who are in school today, right now. The ones who will be graduating and taking jobs soon because college is out of reach.

So after much discussion we’ve decided its time for a change. We are inviting our fellow Arizona businesses to join us for a frank and meaningful conversation about your needs. We want to know what you want in a front line employee and what kind of private systems can we put in place that will help develop that employee for you. It’s obvious our state educational system isn’t going to do it. Let’s do it together.

In the coming weeks we’ll be working with local business groups in the community to begin discussions.

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