Common Sense in Business
It always seems to amaze me, the decisions business owners make everyday, what happened to common sense?
I heard on the radio many, many, years ago on two different occasions these two things; “Wouldn’t it be great if the whole world lived by only ten rules”, and that “it’s important not to have too many rules for kids” growing up, it confuses them, sort of like our tax code! Not to get into the whole religious debate, that is not what this is about, but I think few could disagree the moral and ethical standards of the Ten Commandments.
At the time a young father of two children, I decided to only have 11 rules for my kids; The Ten Commandments; which I thought covered pretty much everything, but for what it didn’t I decided to add one more rule; Common Sense. The reason I added this primarily was I wanted my kids to think for themselves and to be able to reason their decision making process. I knew this would leave many topics open not only for discussion, but also for learning.
Today a pickup truck with a tandem-axle trailer pulled in front of my home, and parked 3/4’s of the way in my grass. They proceed to get out of the truck and walk over to my neighbors yard across the street and began chatting with her. When they come back to the truck, one gets a bucket while the other person drives a large commercial riding lawn mower off the trailer. I am sitting inside working on my laptop thinking wow, this person parks in my yard to work on theirs, hmmm…not too smart!
I started thinking of all the potential scenarios of potential conflict possibly created by this Owner; first they could have a very upset neighbor (me), they could upset their client (my neighbor), they could cause a potential riff between my neighbor and myself, my neighbor could be embarrassed the company they hired who would do such a thing (yet possibly afraid to say anything to this business owner), the scenarios continue. Not really a smart position for this Owner to put their client or themselves in.
I went outside and very politely asked the guy mowing the grass why they parked the equipment in my yard while they are working in my neighbors. (I really was nice about it!) He told me as he looked over, his boss told him to park there…I asked him to please take care of it. All good and done, right? Not so fast Batman!
As I was walking away, the employee (as I have now learned) told the Owner I wanted them to move their vehicle off my property…the Owner replied to me; “I don’t see what the problem is………..it’s in the easement” (remember in front of my house a truck and tandem-axle trailer, now with the gate down) … I was stunned the Owner of the company would defend these actions, especially after I was very polite about it. I looked at her (about 50’ away and on the other side of the road) and said; “Really, as the Owner of this company you are going to try to defend this?” As she continued, I continued; “You should be apologizing!” She then stopped and said she was sorry as I turned away to go inside.
One of the interesting things was this; after they moved the vehicle to the other side of the road in my neighbors yard, they quickly decided that wasn’t a good spot in their either, and then pulled their vehicle and trailer into my neighbors driveway. Why didn’t they do that in the beginning? Where was the common sense just to start with?
Now before you get all over my case and say I was just over reacting, you should know I started a remodeling company in 1986, I had a 16’ long enclosed trailer I kept all my tools in and locked on site, and I would have never thought of parking on the neighbors property (easement or not). I always got approval before I parked anywhere, it is their home, and I took this humbled approach. Common sense should include a decision making process, rather than just doing. Obviously once this Owner thought about it, they eventually realized it wasn’t even good to park in the clients yard, so I am curious, how it could have been good to park in mine? Thus, it makes me wonder, how this same person treats their non-business acquaintances, since people are generally more or less the same in all scenarios of life. Thank you for your valuable time.
Common Sense should include a decision making process…