Blog Post 4: A Reflection

Prior to this assignment, I had not interviewed anyone previously — especially a working professional. The entire experience was rather interesting because, although I have come in contact with those in the service industry before, I have never analyzed their experiences on the job. While spending my initial college years grabbing food at The Porch, I came in contact with Sophie, a hardworking waitress. However, like many individuals, I merely focused on spending time with those whom I was eating with, rather than the restaurant workers themselves. I was aware of Sophie and knew she provided excellent service, but I never acknowledged the barriers to listening she faced daily.
During the interview process, Sophie frequently mentioned that communication and listening were the most important aspects of her job. If she failed to listen to her customers, they may end up unsatisfied. Additionally, the customers may not give Sophie a generous tip at the end of the meal. Sophie also mentioned that external barriers existed while she was on the job, including music playing, sports games being displayed on the televisions, and physiological barriers. If she could not listen to her coworkers or customers effectively, she may be fired for not completing her job as well as she should.
The interview process was challenging in itself. It was difficult to agree on a meeting time because we were both busy. Moreover, once we found a day, it was sort of nerve-wracking to begin the process. Sophie had never been interviewed before and I had never interviewed someone myself. My interviewee felt nervous speaking into a microphone, which may have affected the interview process. Additionally, although I had many questions prepared in advance, Sophie spoke rather quickly and our interview ended sooner than I expected and hoped for. It was challenging to think of additional questions and improvise once I went through my prepared questions. However, I believe Sophie understood that I needed a certain time length for my project and tried to answer questions more in-depth. Ultimately, the entire process was a lot easier and went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would. I learned many things about Sophie as a person, as well as the service industry in general.

Blog 3 — An Interview With A Waitress

My interview with Sophie, a waitress at Winter Park’s The Porch, focused largely on strategic listening in terms of stressful situations. As a result of studying the service industry, I understood prior to my interview that my interviewee would have to listen greatly. Similar to bartenders, waitresses msophieust deal with patrons at all hours of the day. However, my interviewee spoke of the added stress of The Porch’s “party scene.” Before interviewing Sophie, I had never thought about her role on Saturday nights when music starts playing at a louder decibel and young college students flock to the bar. Oftentimes, Sophie’s job transcends from a simple waitressing job to one of extreme stress once midnight hits. As a result of loud music and even louder talking, my interviewee must listen more effectively to her patrons.
Sophie defines listens in terms of “keeping open ears and an open heart, and paying attention to what is being asked of you or what is being told to you, and being quiet while doing so.” Despite barriers to listening through physical distractions, Sophie is able to use to SIER* model effectively. Additionally, my interviewee uses nonverbal behaviors, such as kinesics, proxemics, and oculesics, when conversing with patrons of The Porch. Although she did not know the five types of listening — discriminative, comprehensive, appreciative, empathetic, and critical — I determined that she uses almost all five when working. When a costumer is unsure of what he or she wants to order, Sophie uses discriminative listening to determine this and offers an additional dish. Additionally, when speaking to her boss, Sophie uses comprehensive listening. If her boss tells her how to complete a specific task, she must utilize this type of listening to understand and complete the task instructed. Lastly, she must employ appreciative listening when speaking to costumers to ensure a greater tip. Sophie must be interested in what her patrons are telling her and guarantee that they are having a good time.
In spite of being pressured into working as a waitress, my interviewee enjoys what she does and values the skills she has learned. In fact, she asserts, “It’s an awesome thing to have on your resume and I’ve learned way more serving tables than I have in the classroom.” This is due, in part, to communicating with costumers, or interpersonal communication and interpersonal listening.

Links to relevant scholarly work/credible sources:

All hyperlinks support key themes identified.

Audio of Interview: sophie_2

Blog Post 2 — My Interviewee

For my project, I have chosen to interview a waitress because it has been insisted that those in the service industry need to be good listeners. As an employee of the local sports pub, The Porch, my interviewee, Sophie, encounters people of all ages daily, including families and college students. However, as a popular weekend spot for many Winter Park residents, The Porch may become crowded, thus making Sophie’s job even more difficult. While music is usually blasting within the pub, waitresses must listen more effectively to their patrons. Additionally, as a Rollins College alum, Sophie continuously encounters old friends. Oftentimes, these students stop my interviewee in the middle of her job to catch-up, thus hindering her attention to those she is serving. Nevertheless, Sophie still pays mindful attention to all people and completes her job effectively. By interviewing Sophie, I hope to gain a better understanding of the listening skills required in what may be deemed “tense situations.” Although my interviewee and I are both originally from New York, members of the same sorority, and are of similar ages, I am fascinated by how different our listening skills are from each other. Through exploring the dynamics of Winter Park’s local sports pub and my interviewee’s cultural background, I will strive to comprehend how one learns and exudes the listening skills necessarily in a taxing professional career.

Blog Post #1 – Kelsey

1.I have chosen to interview you, in part, because you participate in a professional career that I am unfamiliar with. Can you tell me what, in your opinion, make your profession distinctive as a job?

I have formulated this question to ensure an answer of what sets apart my interviewee from various other professionals. This question may also entice answers that include what the interviewee likes/dislikes about his or her job.
2. Why did you choose this profession. If you did not choose this profession, how did you come to get this job?

This question allows for a personal touch to be added within the interview. It is important that the interviewee speaks on this subject because it helps the readers/listeners to understand the interviewee as a person. It also may shed light on the interviewee’s passions (or potential failures/shortcomings).
3. How long have you worked for this company, in this field, etc.? Do you have any past experience?

Similar to the previous question asked, this question goes in depth on the interviewee’s personal life. It is important for him or her to feel comfortable when being interviewed to allow the interview to run smoothly and for better answers to be heard. Answers may also include: why the interviewee wants (or not wants to) work in his or her field.
4. What does it mean to you that I am here interviewing you because of your professional career? How do you feel about this interview process?

This question also assures me that my interviewee is comfortable being interviewed. However, if he or she is not comfortable, I will be made aware of that and can change my approach.
5. What, if any, concerns do you have about how I might represent you or your profession? Why do you have these concerns?

I believe that it is necessary to ask this question to ensure that I do not exploit my interviewee or his or her profession.