Print
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

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Propel Your Finance Career with UNCW’s Newly Announced STEM Designated, Face-to-Face Delivery of M.S. in Finance & Investment Management

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Georgiarowe

Salling and Tate Dentistry Launches Annual "Gunner’s Runners" Shoe Collection Event, Aiming to Surpass Last Year's Success

Georgia Rowe - Wide Open Tech
Gretchen roberts 2021

Buying a Business? 6 Critical Finance and Tax Questions Before the Purchase

Gretchen Roberts - Red Bike Advisors

Trending News

Filling In: Apartments Edge Into Downtown Pockets

Emma Dill - Jun 20, 2024

Entrepreneur Buys Downtown Building For Escape Room Venture

Emma Dill - Jun 21, 2024

Star Power: Feature Film Uses Carolina Beach Setting

Staff Reports - Jun 20, 2024

Aging In Place

David W. Frederiksen - Jun 21, 2024

Testing The Waters: New Regulations Are Flowing To Make Water Safer

Audrey Elsberry - Jun 20, 2024

In The Current Issue

Startups Weigh Local Support

What do Wilmington startup newcomers moving for quality of life and proximity to the beach think of the area through a technological and ent...


Beach Towns Rank On USA Today Top 10 List

Carolina Beach garnered the top spot of the local beaches at No. 2....


Local Museum Celebrates 45 Years Honoring Railroad

The museum was founded as a joint contribution of three local Wilmington residents and a handful of artifacts, growing from there....

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season