Word Of the Week #55: Fastidious

April 22, 2009 by  

Fastidious: reflecting a meticulous, sensitive or demanding attitude.

Have you heard the expression, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness?”

An executive from American Airlines was explaining the importance of having clean airplanes. She said, “When passengers board an airplane and see that the trash has not been picked up, they equate that to a lack of overall maintenance. In other words, a dirty airplane means a dirty engine which means the plane might crash.”

I have heard that in the restaurant business the state of the bathroom is reflective of the state of the kitchen. If the bathrooms are dirty then you can bet the kitchen is dirty too. And that equates to unsanitary conditions and possible food poisoning.

Do you consider yourself to be meticulous? Would your customers, guests, or members say that your operation is fastidious? This week focus on how you and your business are perceived. Could you be more fastidious in your appearance? Could you be more meticulous when it comes to your business?

Reader Responses

“Thanks for all your help to improve me in my personal and professional life!
P.S. Looks like my closets need some meticulous ” help” this weekend I have not been fastidious and the shelve fell down!!!!!!!!!Haha!!” — Shelley Sigholtz

“In addition to the restrooms, my barometer that gives me “key indicators” also includes the back loading / receiving dock and the dumpster area. If it is clean, then I bet you that the kitchen, etc. is also clean.  Another area of importance to me is to keep all employee areas clean and looking sharp. I truly believe that the environment of which we develop for our employees has a direct impact on their attitude, which reflects on service to our members and guests. I wish we could of worked together over the years. We would of been a great team of managers! We share in the same approach to leadership and just basic living.” — Don Vance

“Thanks for the new word. I would have responded sooner, but Kristen, Erin and I were in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin, for a long weekend to watch the colors change on the foliage in Northern Wisconsin. It was beautiful with fresh air, temperatures in the low 70s, and gorgeous sunshine. I have to tell you when I returned to the office I felt rejuvenated. It was a well-timed trip. The rest of my vacation time is reserved for the last two weeks of December.  As for fastidious. I once was told by a friend that her parents always insisted that they dress well when attending school because of the psychological factor it played in their overall performance. If one looked good, they felt good and would be more motivated in the classroom. It also improved their general attitude and the attitude of their teacher toward them. There is a respect factor involved also. My mother-in-law told me a story about going to a restaurant for the first time. She said that as they were going in the door, the sun was shining in such a way that showed how dirty the floor was. After an unsatisfying meal, they never went to the restaurant again.  If a person takes the time to make their appearance presentable, it shows a respect for themselves but also the people they are meeting. A nonchalant attitude can be gleaned from a person who does not take the time to look good in public. My in-laws reminded me of a time when Americans dressed up not only when going to church but when taking trips on planes. We don’t see that anymore. I guess people really don’t care what people think of how they look.  I recall a time in grade school when my third grade teacher, a nun named Sister Rosella, commented to my mother about how shiny my shoes were every day. That is because I shined them every weekend before going to school that week. If there is anything I have learned in the short period I have been on this earth, it is that people DO NOTICE. Unfortunately, in this increasingly casual age in which we live, respect has disappeared. Maybe it will come back. I do believe these things are cyclical. However, we need parents – especially young mothers – to teach their little ones not only manners but how to dress in public.  The husband of my Godmother just turned 90 today, and while he has slowly lost his sight over the past five years, his attitude about life and living has never changed. He is still incredibly optimistic, he works out and plays golf every week. He is an amazing man whom I emulate. His own fastidiousness and consistency in living has led to his happy longevity.” — Joe Moran