WilmingtonBiz Magazine

Editor's Note: Getting Schooled

By Vicky Janowski, posted Jun 28, 2023
Vicky Janowski
Want a lesson in organizational management or industrial psychology? Go find Sharon.

Sharon, the women’s bathroom attendant at Live Oak Bank Pavilion, is one concert at a time becoming a local legend for a simple reason: The women’s bathroom line is always shorter than the men’s line.
So that rarely happens, especially not in large-crowd situations like concerts. Surprised and bemused looks passed down the line outside. I wasn’t the only person who noticed. 

The why and how unfolds inside. In a projecting and constant stream, Sharon announces the open stalls. “I’ve got 2 over here; 1 over here.”

That’s it? That’s it. Somehow Sharon’s managed to solve a problem that plagues stadiums, concert venues and bars across the nation each weekend.

Zero time wasted guessing if a stall is occupied or not. Seconds shaved from trying to get the people chatting at the front to realize it’s their turn. This is lean methodology in action.

Here’s the wild thing. Given a roadmap to the process, even if it was their first time encountering the Sharon System, people quickly jumped on board. Wherever Sharon directed, people responded.

Here’s the even wilder thing. If Sharon was busy on one side of the room, people filled in the other side, announcing their own “1 open over here.” Seeing the success of the Sharon System firsthand, they adopted it for their own immediate environment.

One such time was when a younger teen concertgoer had trouble with her door. Sharon suspended her rounds and assured her she’d stay to watch the door. Efficiency only works alongside empathy. If you’re 100% on either end, you’ll either end up with disgruntled teammates or unfulfilled goals.

By now, I wouldn’t blame you for rolling your eyes. It’s just a public bathroom, not groundbreaking stuff.
But here’s another reason why businesses should pay attention to the Sharon System.

People who witnessed it and benefitted from it firsthand were talking. Not just one or two, but I kept hearing comments from impressed – and happy – patrons.

Still think I’m overselling it?

In early June, a thread started on a local Facebook group focused on face-value concert tickets. It was about Sharon and the Sharon System, which by the way no one calls it that, that’s how I intend to describe any efficiency plans going forward.

Posters both praised the method and bemoaned the fact that they didn’t have money for Sharon’s tip jar – Live Oak Bank Pavilion doesn’t take cash, plus the number of people who actually carry around bills has dropped off.

Nearly 60 comments later, people whose pricey beer buzzes and live music endorphins had long since subsided were trying to figure out how to properly tip Sharon via Venmo or another digital method. Someone asked around and confirmed her Cash App to share with the group. People took time out of their days to figure out how to return their appreciation.

If you don’t think there’s something to be learned here about customer service, you would be wrong. And I would suggest a refresher course from Professor Sharon.
Ico insights


Screenshot2022 01 06at338 162234623

Block Eatz Unlocking Value for Local Food Entrepreneurs and Communities

Girard Newkirk - Genesis Block
Unknown 73123103228

The Power of Protein

Allen J. Holmes - Biosymmetry Wilmington
Cfss headshots parker robert webversion 21422121214

North Carolina's 2023 Hurricane Season Predictions: Harnessing the Power of Solar Energy and Storage for Optimal Resilience

Robert Parker - Cape Fear Solar Systems

Trending News

For 348-townhome Project, Carroll Companies Reschedules Community Meeting

Staff Reports - Sep 25, 2023

Crossing That Bridge (and Road, Track, Sky And Water)

Cece Nunn - Sep 25, 2023

Culinary Blends At New Olivero Restaurant

Katie Schmidt - Sep 25, 2023

SeaTox, Partners Awarded $1.5M Grant For Contamination Testing In Alaska

Audrey Elsberry - Sep 26, 2023

Bowling, Murphy Join EmergeOrtho Coastal Region

Staff Reports - Sep 26, 2023

In The Current Issue

MADE Winner: Supporter Business Category

HR company works to provide other companies with human resources solutions....

MADE Winners: Functional Product Category

Skin care products, bean bags and lumber function at the top of their game...

INFO JUNKIE: Holden Bierman

The founder and CEO of Coastal Cool shares his top info and tech picks....

Book On Business

The 2023 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2023 Power Breakfast: Major Developments