Saturday, October 15, 2011

Small Things

"What are you upset about? It was only a small thing."

"You are entirely correct. It was a small thing. It would have taken less than ten minutes and perhaps just five of his time. That's part of what bothers me."

"I'm sure it was not meant as anything negative."

"Oh, I know there were no negative intentions, but his absence could have been significant if we had failed to get a quorum to vote on the much more important issue. If he won't do the small, how can I rely upon him for the large?"

"He wouldn't see it that way. He would argue that he dedicates his time to the important matters and some slips in the minor ones should be ignored or forgiven."

"I agree, nitpicking would make no sense, but I don't want him to make a habit of overlooking the small matters. There are days when we can't really tell what is minor and what is vital. I'm also concerned about spill-over. It's the old line about a good gardener never reserving a plot for weeds."

"So he's forgiven?"

"Certainly, just so it never happens again."


John said...

Oh, how many memories this conjures...

Early in my career as a cafeteria manager I learned that being out of a regular product, even temporarily, was almost as bad for business as staff rudeness (either real or perceived).

"We'll have a fresh batch of fried chicken in less than ten minutes. I'll be happy to have it brought to your table."

"What? You're OUT! I can't believe it. Gimme something else. looks like your out of EVERYTHING..."

Believe it or not, even that was not as bad as being out of something considered "free" such as ketchup or lemons for tea. When customers weren't paying for something they had the option of buying something else. If a complimentary item went missing most people understood, however a small segment reacted as though they were being insulted. It didn't happen often, but when it did a trip to the grocery was worth whatever time and effort it took.

Michael Wade said...


Love the examples. I have reached a point where I regard it as an act of boldness to regard something as minor.