Friday, November 02, 2007

Pierogi Night in Vancouver!

On the first Friday of every month the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, at 154 East 10th Avenue, offers up a fabulous pierogi and cabbage roll dinner. For between $10 - $13 you get a LARGE plate of food that will fill even the hungriest of appetites. All proceeds go toward the church.

The food was absolutely delicious. My only complaint, but it is a big one, is this: The volunteers at the church know a lot about cooking but not a thing about process! Once in the door, there's still about a 45 minute wait. Why? Because they had everyone going through one food line and the woman dispensing the pierogies was doing so one at a time with a fork. Her actions delayed every single person in the line and are cumulative. They also required her to get more trays from the kitchen when she ran out. At the same time the priest and other volunteers were just standing around doing nothing. This resulted in an enormous number of tables sitting empty for the first hour. Ridiculous! Let me be clear: I didn't mind waiting but the whole purpose of the evening was to raise money for the church. We saw many people leave, not willing to wait so long.

I'm very tempted to contact the church and say the following: "I make very good money showing companies how to improve their processes. Without one bit of technology, I could show you how to rearrange your food distribution process and you would instantly increase your revenue, likely dramatically. I would be happy to volunteer once a month for a minimum of 6 months to help you in this regard. Are you interested?"

I have little doubt that they would never get back to me. The problem with most organizations, especially public sector and volunteer ones, is that they have no interest in improving the way they do things. The result is sub-standard performance and in the case of this church, greatly diminished revenues.

Final note: Steve later posed the question: How many people there would even be thinking of ways to improve things? One of the perils of having an engineer's brain, I guess!


tori said...

Robert: they would be absolutely dee-lited to have a "young" man like yourself show up to volunteer, as long as it was to do the grunt work.

The minute you'd start "telling them how to do things" ("We've been doing the same thing for 50 years! And what's this damn TV on my desk! What happened to typewriters and secretarial pools?") they'd label you a young upstart and get very defensive.

They'd also love it if more families with young children came to their church, as long as the young mom was willing to give up her worship time to teach Sunday school. If they discovered she doesn't bake cookies or do decoupage, they'd get very uncomfortable.

Oh don't get me started!

tori said...

Oh My that food looks soooo good. I'm a Saskatchewan girl, where if you're not born Ukranian (or Mennonite), you definitely soak it up by osmosis.

I could have used some of that comfort food last week when I had my yucky cold.