Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Breaking the Rules

This story is stuck in my head. It happened a couple of weeks ago. Aretha Franklin went to a Johnny Rockets. She ordered food to go, but then decided to sit to eat. Apparently the rule from the owner is that if you order to go, you have to take the food and go. You can't just decide sit for whatever reason. Aretha was asked to leave. She asked to stay. The employee wouldn't let her. She was pissed and left without her food.

Howard Stern was talking about it, saying how it's a shame but it's true that people need a detailed list of things to do, rules, etc. They can't think for themselves and make judgment calls. I was nodding away in the car as I drove home from the hair salon.

It's amazing to me. I'd just written a blog about common sense. Here's a shining example of how people don't seem to have any. My husband and I are told ALL THE TIME how we NEED a vacation. We should just close our store and go. Or we should just hire someone to run it if we can't be here. We just laugh and shake our head. Why? Who the hell has time to write out detailed lists of every do and don't? We couldn't even think to cover every situation that could come up. We've HAD employees where we've been in virtual, "Seriously? :::head cock:::" mode. Finding someone who can just take initiative is like finding a needle in a haystack. Believe me, I'd LOVE to hire someone. But not when I'd have to do more work to have them work than would be worth it. I don't want to come into my store in the morning to it having been looted because I didn't actually write- "LOCK THE DOOR WHEN YOU LEAVE". That's pretty much the level of spelling it out I've found needs to be said to get anything done.

When B can't find one way to fix a lamp, he figures out another way. The other day he took my pointed Tweezerman's and a blackhead (facial) tool to be able to fix a lighting fixture. Someone else would've just said- "No man, can't do it." They wouldn't have even entertained such a thing. He's the MacGyver of fix-it in here. When he took a job to fix ginormous chandeliers for the Summit Historical Society, and they didn't fit in the store, he cleared out our home garage and has been working on them there. Again, something else someone else would not entertain. Customers come in all the time, desperate for someone to help them because everywhere else they've gone, the answer was just a resounding, NO.

Sure, there are times you have to follow the rules. But there are A LOT of times in life you can re-invent, find a better way, get the job done, etc by not following the rules. This is how I know I was never cut out for corporate America. I never wanted to keep to going through the "proper channels". I'd see a better way and want to go right to the top, where someone allowed to make decisions could actually help me implement something. I'm a rebel, Dottie. No, actually I'm not. I know there are times you have to follow the script, go up the hierarchy, and need direction. I'm saying that the rules aren't always correct and sometimes you have to question them if you think you have a better way. Or better yet, ALWAYS try to have a better way. Even if you get shot down, have an A, B & C for back up.

I'm forever telling E to "use his head". The first time, he literally tried to use his head then, putting his head on a box on the floor. But then he got it. When he asks me to do something for him he doesn't think he can do- I tell him- Figure it out. He hates it now but he'll thank me later.

I'm sure this Johnny Rockets owner was dying of embarrassment that the Queen of Soul and hamburgers was turned away. I'm also sure it's hard for him to find good help. Smart help. Help that can think outside the napkin box. So he HAS to make some kind of rules to be followed or it would be Lord of the Fast Food Flies up in that joint. But who knew it was so bad that he'd have to put an extra line in his employee handbook that says, "USE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT" also?

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