I recently had some time to kill between meetings and I was hungry. So, I decided to go to a local diner. I figured I could use the time to do some writing. One of the reasons I chose this location is that I knew they had free Wi-Fi and I needed to access some information online with my laptop.
After I was seated, order taken, and beverage served, I flipped open my laptop and attempted to connect to the Wi-Fi. No luck. I checked to make sure the network was visible and still nothing. Re-entered the password that was printed in big bold letters on the wall of this establishment and still no joy.
After numerous attempts, I finally asked one of the servers if the Wi-Fi was working and she said yes, it is and that she was on with her smartphone. Of course, this made me think, aren’t you supposed to be working and not worrying about your social media or text messages? But I digress.
Laptops are for inputting
So, I went through everything again and after a few more attempts, I gave up and assumed the problem was on my end. Frustrated, I resorted to using my phone in an attempt to access the information I needed.
Yes, I could have used my phone sooner, but that just doesn’t work well for me. I once heard that tablets and phones are for consuming information or data and that laptops are for inputting. This statement so represents me. Try as I might, I hate trying to compose anything other that a quick email or text response on my smartphone. I also find that undertaking any kind of extensive searching is frustrating on a small handheld appliance.
No one on duty
I tried again by asking another server, who I believe was in charge of the front of house, if the Wi-Fi was down? To which she responds, yes, it is! She then proceeds to tell me that whenever the restaurant gets busy, which it was, the router crashes. To which I responded that it probably just needs to be rebooted. And here comes the kicker. She then tells me that the management has locked the access to the router because they don’t trust them. To which I responded, “seriously?”
She then went on to tell me that every time it happens, no one can do anything until the manager resets it. Ok then, get a manager to reset it, I said. To which she replied, there isn’t one on duty.
We trust complete strangers, but not our staff
So now I’m a bit confused. You have a restaurant with approximately 100 guests being served prepared food and you trust the staff to abide by all sorts of food safety issues without management oversight. Further, we trust these same employees to treat our customers properly and efficiently. We further trust these employees to process payment and handle cash, yet, they cannot be trusted to reboot a Wi-Fi router. Where does this make sense?
I know this is a simple example but is illustrative of many owners actions when it comes to their employees. Isn’t it funny how we trust hundreds, if not thousands of complete strangers everyday when we drive our vehicles? We hope these strangers stay in their lanes and that none of them cross over a painted yellow line into our lane, where doing so could result in serious personal harm. Yet, we don’t always trust the people we work with every single day to reboot a router.
On further contemplation, I also wonder why the manager hasn’t clued into this being a problem. If this is in fact a reoccurring issue and it affects the customer experience, then this needs to change. Especially since they have a sticker on the front door the says “Free Wi-fi”.
Your success depends on trust
Silly little situations like locking the router behind a closed door sends a message to employees that management can be dysfunctional. It left me wondering what other stupid policies this organizations has on it’s books.
Trust is a necessary component for the success of any business and employees are not going to bring their “A” game when faced with nonsensical restrictions. You’re never going to achieve the success or freedom you want if you can’t explicitly trust your employees.
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Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2019
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