Saturday, December 21, 2013

Never Assume



Once again I am reminded what a good police it is to “NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING’.  Even if somebody tells you something has happened or they will do something, never assume it, always double check.

Case in point  #1.  As it says at the bottom of the column, I teach at Southeast Missouri State University.  The semester just ended and we have to turn in grades in the next couple of days.  The university adopted new software this year, which, among other things, automatically posted graded items to the gradebook, pretty useful that.  However, if a student fails to turn in an assignment or take a quiz, instead of giving said student a zero, it leaves the space blank and the software ignores it, giving said student a higher grade unless I manually enter a zero. That’s well and good for most assignments, since I have to manually grade them anyhow.  However, tests automatically post themselves and I was told that, if a student failed to take said test, the software would automatically recognize this and give them a zero for the quiz. Turns out, I assumed would do what I was told it do and it didn’t, meaning I had to go in and fix quiz grades, which probably won’t make the affected students happy.

Case in point #2:  A fellow store owner gave a trusted employee an instruction.  One would expect said employee to follow said instruction, being as how it came from said employee’s said employer who cuts said employee’s said paycheck.  However, said employee failed to follow said directions, causing someone to get injured.  You wouldn’t think you would have to follow up, especially with a trusted employee but you just can’t assume anything, can you?

The point I want to make is that, if you own the store, whether a game store or a comic store,, you bear the ultimate responsibility for its success or failure.  You put the money into it, it is your money on the line and assuming that things will happen the way you expect them is the surest way I know to lose it all.
I don’t care how loyal, trustworthy or dependable your employees and staff are, unless you have given them part ownership in the business, they never view it the same way you do. They can’t.  Every piece of merchandise on your shelves represents dollars of investment sitting there staring back at you , rather than nestling comfortably in your wallet or bank account.

In either of the cases above, did either of those involved set out to cause harm or increase the difficulty of doing a job?  Of course not.  People in general want to do a good job, if only to avoid getting terminated. Only in rare cases do people act to cause harm to the place they work.  However, even if they have worked for you for years, you still cannot assume that they will do what you tell them to do or that they understand it the way you think they should.  You still have to follow up and build that into your management style, because, when you get down to the nub, it is your money on the line.