As with any team, what one player does on their own, effects the rest of the team in one way or another. I had a reminder of this today when I went to the post office to run an errand for the office.
I was on my lunch hour and of course the post office did have a bit of a line (I expected this as a lot of people try to take care business during their lunch hour).
There were only two windows open, which always amazes me that banks and post offices run on a skeleton crew during their most demanding hours by customers, go figure.
I was next in line when the gentleman ahead of me at one window decided to pay the clerk in dollars and cents that he had in a bag. As he was counting out each dime, the seconds just kept ticking off. I thought I would have a chance at the next window, but as a woman was finishing up her transaction another woman came through the door and stood right next to her at the window.
I thought maybe these two women were together, but I was wrong. This woman stepped in front of the rest of the line to ask the clerk if he had a “hand cart” that she could borrow to get some heavy packages from her car to the post office. Of course being a nice postal employee he stepped away from his busy counter and went in the back to find the hand cart. You could hear the sigh from the people in line.
Now back to the window that I was hoping to be next at; the gentleman who paid in change was about done and the clerk handed him his receipt. One would think he would step aside, but no….he got out his wallet and proceeded to pull out other receipts and papers from it, attempting to organize his paperwork while still standing right in front of the clerk.
The clerk looked at me apologetically, but she did not want to tell the elderly man to move aside. Oh, and the other clerk still had not come back from getting the hand cart and by now there were over 15 people in line. Did this clerk really think that this woman shouldn’t wait in line like the rest of us?
I quietly let out my breath and thought to myself, oh well, I can either leave or wait this one out so that I could take care of my transaction and get back to work. I could feel the tension in the line of people waiting, some were groaning, and making loud sighs, others were tapping their feet.
We each had our own decision to make, wait it out, or leave. I wondered did these three people realize what effect that their actions had on the rest of the people waiting in line? I really do not think so. I decided to wait it out and before long I moved up to the counter made my transaction and was on my way to work.
This experience did get me thinking, like usual. Do we realize how our decisions and actions really effect others that we work with? When we are late getting something done, are we thinking about the problems it may cause our supervisor, boss or customer? If we are expected to do a job and we only half finish it, do we realize how this effects others that are depending on us?
The more I thought about the affect of what we do and how it effects others I couldn’t help but see the domino effect and the importance that employees need to see the bigger picture in order to understand how the part that they play each day actually plays into the big picture.
Well I know what my office meeting will be about this week. My whole staff, including myself need to take a good look at this domino effect and see how we can improve on not making a negative effect on each other and learn how have a more positive effect on those we work with.
Have you thought about how you effect on those you work with?