If you go to a restaurant, there is almost always a waiter to serve you. The reason the person is called a waiter is he or she waits on you.
The waiter's job is to wait. To not only wait but also watch and respond to the guest seeking information or some service.
No one likes to be summoned by the snapping of fingers, talked down in a demeaning manner or to clean up an unnecessary mess. The waiter's job is challenging especially when demands of guests are unreasonable.
While waiting is common in restaurants, what do we say when this happens in organisations? It is quite common for even highly qualified and senior people having to wait on their bosses and political masters.
Many bosses and even heads of families like to hold a grand audience with several people waiting on them. This makes them feel important while making people around them feel small and no more than minions.
Shockingly many an organisation and even families that I advise or work with, unfortunately have a number of highly qualified, well paid people functioning as mere waiters. What a tragic waste of talent and resources?
One of the things I watch out for when I begin an assignment is to observe the waiter factor.
If the owners and leaders or the managers and bosses have a number of people constantly waiting on them, then I usually find that morale and performance is poor. As a result that organisation or family has or soon likely to face serious problems.
If people wait on bosses then they are treated as riff-raff. The boss will inevitably complain that the people have no initiative, are lazy or lacking in the 'right' attitude. They will also complain that they alone have to do everything and no one else shows any concern.
If people do not wait then they are condemned as not having the 'right values', or are impertinent or are not team players.
People who normally wait unreasonably on their bosses are either fearful, incompetent lacking in self respect, or a sense of purpose.
Forcing people to wait on you simply because they have no choice is disrespectful and unproductive. Be sure, those who can flee from you will do so at the first opportunity. However those without options who are compelled to stay on tend to become bitter and increasingly seethe with anger. It is most likely that given the opportunity most waiters will one day strike back and harm the offending leaders and the organisation.
Its useful to remember, what goes around, comes around.