Khristian E. Kay – Seminar in Leading to Serve– ED 702
FISH! Service
Khristian E. Kay
Cohort VII – Doctoral Program
EDU 702 – Summer 2004
Cardinal Stritch University
Khristian E. Kay – Seminar in Leading to Serve– ED 702
Pike Place Market was/is a wondrous place to visit. It is filled with not only the
open fish market but is a complete open market of everyday wares. When I lived in
Seattle this was the place to go for all of your shopping needs. As a chef in Seattle the
market was a must for shopping for daily specials (what is referred to as a ‘Fresh Sheet’
in coastal areas.) Unfortunately I left Seattle before the “world” famous Pike Place Fish
Market began their quest of becoming “World Famous.” I introduce this paper this way
because it was the tie-in with a familiar place that originally led me to the FISH!
philosophy. In the video a statement is made by one of the managers that I thoroughly am
able to relate to. He talks about how a customer will come to him and ask him a question.
Then, 10 minutes later, another customer will come by and ask the same question. This
would irritate him to furious end. That was until he had the “a-ha” moment (which on the
surface usually seems to be common sense.) He came to the realization that the previous
customer and the following customer do not know that they had just asked the same
question, how could they? They know each other not!
This description of the “a-ha” is what I correlate to the service element within the
FISH! philosophy. We must realize that every interaction we have with each other is a
new and touching moment regardless of what we previously have done. There are
moments when we find ourselves repeating ourselves to others but the realization of their
listening, their final understanding of their conceptions cannot be realized until they are
ready to receive this information: their “a-ha.” This is the “Make Their Day” point of the
philosophy. This is what we have also defined as the humility or the humble moment,
that everyday we should do something to make someone else’s day, make their life
Khristian E. Kay – Seminar in Leading to Serve– ED 702
happier, brighter, more satisfying. To me this is the main concept or the unifying factor in
the service understanding of the FISH! philosophy. The other elements all come into play
if we are desirous to “Make Their Day.” It is not dissimilar to the notion ‘seek first to
understand.’ With the “Make Their Day” in mind we then “Choose our Attitude”,
“Play”, and of course “Be There.”
My understanding of FISH! is this: first we know ourselves – we choose the
attitude that we desire to live with; we then realize what we have to do in order to meet
our personal goals (whatever this happens to be we have to choose this) so we might as
well ‘Be There;’ thirdly we play, we have fun where we are at – where we choose to be.
This is service this making peoples’ day for no reason other than that we exist and so do
they. My favorite book of the moment is “The World According to Mr. Rogers” which is
a collection of sayings by Fred Rogers. (I have spent the last hour trying to locate my
copy in all of my familiar reading spots but I am unable to find it at the moment so I will
be paraphrasing this next point.) Mr. Rogers eloquently states that the moments we
cherish or remember the most seem to be those moments when we, for or of no benefit
for ourselves, assist or otherwise give of ourselves to others.
I think of the platitudes we see and hear daily: ‘be good to one another’, ‘love thy
neighbor’, ‘commit random acts of kindness’, ’mean people suck’ and so. If only we
chose to do this, we as humans, to change the platitudes into the mechanics of our
everyday lives …

FISH! Service