Proactive staff: impossible to find?

Now there’s a question.

Of course, every so often there will be a member of staff who is committed, been with you for a long time, at the peak of their game, your lieutenant, your right hand person and so on.

But you have to admit they’re pretty rare and you’re lucky if you get one of these in your entire life in EB.

I would suggest the following is a more real life scenario.

I friend of mine recently had his office decorated.  The decorators were in on Saturday and Sunday with everything being finished for the next working day… being?  Nope, it was Wednesday; this was Jubilee weekend.  I’m really sorry about that… just couldn’t resist it.

Anyway, the decorators did a good job, cleared up after themselves and put all the desks and PCs back in the right place – they even worked when they were switched on.

The only thing they didn’t do was wash the windows.  There were rivulets and runs both inside and out.  Just dirty water marks, that’s all.

My friend was on holiday for the rest of Jubilee week so didn’t go anywhere near the office but he did go in on the following Sunday.  The office is prominent, sort of a shop front location and the shop window is the first impression his clients get.  Imagine his dismay when the first thing he noticed were these dirty great smears down his windows.

Imagine his further dismay when he realised it was the decorators who left them, but his staff had been staring at them for the thick end of a week… and they were still like it.

Imagine his final dismay when, on Monday morning, the first words Brian said to him when he made it into the office were: ‘Those windows are awful – I’ve had to look at them all week!’


…is a fairly accurate description of how my mate felt at that moment.

What he actually said was, ‘Hmmm… I can see that would be difficult.  Why didn’t you arrange to get them cleaned?’

Silence and a blank stare.

Arched eyebrows in response.

‘Well’, came the tentative reply (eventually), ‘That’s not really my job, is it?’


‘And I’m not authorised to spend the £12 it would have cost.’

Aaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!  Aaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!

Nowhere and no-one has ever said to Brian he couldn’t spend £12 to get windows cleaned and everyone is tasked with customer service… given the first impression customers were getting were not good then it was Brian’s job to get the windows cleaned.

Of course, this isn’t really the issue.  The issue is proactivity.  To act would have meant to do something and that requires time and effort.

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