Chick-Fil-A and QBQ

My kids and I were supposed to go spend the day (and night) at the new Chick-fil-A in Kyle, Texas for a chance to win free Chick-fil-a for a year. To get the chance to compete, you either have to be one of the first 100 in line, or if more than 100 people show at 6:00 AM the day before, there is a raffle for the 100 spots. In this case, there were more than 100 people (175) and we arrived at 6:05 AM due to some navigation issues. So we were out of luck. We had planned to make a fun day and night out of this, so needless to say the kids were pretty disappointed.

As I began processing why we were late, I immediately started looking for ways to shift the blame. Why did Google Maps have the exit number wrong? Why doesn’t Chick-fil-A have the location of new restaurants in its restaurant finder? Why wasn’t there a giant cow on top of the building to make it easy to spot? And suddenly it occurred to me that I had fallen into the blame game. I was asking the wrong questions.

In his incredible book, QBQ, John G. Miller talks about asking the The Question Behind the Question®. So I started asking the right question. What could I have done differently? I could have left earlier. I could have double checked the directions. I could have contacted the Kyle Chick-fil-A to make sure I knew where it was. And I realized that it wasn’t Google Maps’ fault. And it wasn’t Chick-fil-A’s fault. It was my fault. I could have done something. I needed to practice personal accountability.

Whenever we choose to practice personal accountability, we’re going completely against the tide of our culture. Articles like this one about blame shifting the BP oil spill make it abundantly clear – we’re not interested in solving the problem, we’re interested in finding someone to blame. That prevents us from finding the failures in ourselves (and gives us a person for the lawsuit).

When you are faced with situations in your life that don’t go the way you want, ask yourself, what could I have done differently? And what can I do in the future to make sure this doesn’t happen to me (or anyone else) again? And then fix it. Because it’s your problem now.

So what did I do? I sent email to Chick-fil-A suggesting that they add maps to their restaurant opening pages. And I did some research and found out that all the major mapping software has the wrong exit for Kyle, Texas. So I’m going to contact Kyle and let them know since they have more clout than me to try to fix it.

And I’m taking the kids to Chick-fil-A for dinner. We didn’t make the grand opening. But we can still have a great meal.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 thoughts on “Chick-Fil-A and QBQ

  1. It’s true that some cultures tend to be more prone to finding someone to blame first and solving the problem second than others, but if we just keep solving problems without blaming anyone, without pointing it out that it shouldn’t be us solving the problem, but someone else, we’ll end up living in a world where nobody respects anyone and we all need to look after ourselves. If some site doesn’t work in Firefox, I blame the webmaster, and I don’t use the site! If I simply use Internet Explorer, without blaming anyone, simply finding a solution for my problem, the webmaster one care (as much). If I’m overtaking someone in the road, and the other fellow accelerates not to let me pass and we crash because there was a car coming the other way, I damn well will kick his wits out of him and solve my problem by going away. If I simply go away, the dude may even come after me!!!

    Seriously though, it’s important to find someone to blame when the blame isn’t our own. Fixing problems our whole life is what aways us if we don’t make sure people understand that there will be consequences if they don’t make things work correctly, and if they don’t work correctly themselves.

    • In the website case, I would look into whether or not I could fix the problem and then contact the webmaster. Then I’m doing all that I can do.

      The problem with blame is that it doesn’t make you any happier. I don’t feel better when I blame myself. All I can do is operate in my sphere of influence.

      Yes, you need to find the root cause of problems and find why they happened and fix them. But blaming other people is no way to go through life.

  2. Michael, it is good that you found the question behind the question. But you stopped short one question: why did I think it was a good idea that my kids eat eat frequently at Chick-Fil-A for a year?

    • What’s not to love about Chick-Fil-A? It’s some of the healthiest fast food out there, plus it’s a great company!

      The prize was actually 52 free meals over the course of the year, for our entire family (not 52 for each of us). So that would equate to 13 meals in a year (once a month) for our family.

      I’m all about free food 🙂

  3. “What’s not to love about Chick-Fil-A?”

    For one, their website is entirely flash. 🙂

    I admit I went with my kids only one time so it may not be representative of the overall Chick-Fil-A experience, but the place reeked of old oil, the food was soaked with oil to a degree that even my kids were complaining.

    • Well, I had to come back and correct a slanderous statement that I made in error. I drove past that restaurant that I referred to above and it wasn’t a Chick-Fil-A; it was a “Golden Chick,” this one:

      7101 State Hwy 71 W.
      Austin, Texas 78736

      It was a greasy, terrible mess. My apologies to Chick-Fil-A.