Monday, November 30, 2015

Rule # 1 - Don't be a dick

Don't be a dick. It's a little juvenile, but it probably got your attention.


I have MANY customers. I am also a customer to MANY people and organizations. In dealing with my customers, I want them to have respect for me BECAUSE of my ability to deliver the service I provide. I exist to provide excellent services that please the customer. Whether I am mowing a lawn, building a web site or teaching a college course, I expect the best from myself ... notice the absence of a qualifier. Therefore, I have only ever had one customer with which I had to have cross words ... in over 25 years of providing services of varying types. That one instance still haunts me from time to time ... just enough haunt to avoid that circumstance again.

Understand, I am not fearful of confrontation or whatever the shrinks are calling direct communication these days. I am a fan of direct communication.

I am not a fan of someone being a dick. There's no call for it.

Urban Dictionary describes being a dick as:

Conducting oneself in an inappropriate manner to the annoyance of others.
Intentionally driving a dump truck in a reckless manner is being a dick.

I have had the opportunity to provide software for a large health care organization over the past three months. The project has two software engineers total. It is not a GIANT piece of software, but for two people and nearly 4000 users, there is support to be given to the users.  At the current rate we are adding between 20 and 30 new users per day.

The issue is this:

Just because you, as a NOVICE computer user, cannot figure out how to click buttons or read the instructions on the screen doesn't mean that you have the right to use the contact form to spew vile language at my development staff.

Then I got to thinking about this more closely.

Never have I called in or emailed for support at a company and just simply started berating them. I have literally never done that. Now, if I am treated rudely or blamed for the error and offered ZERO help, I get vicious. I admit that.

Being a dick stretches out far and wide. I see many people 'acting a dick' behind the wheel. Texting, talking, eating, driving in the left lane and going far below the posted speed limit, driving too fast in the parking lot.

So, if you are guilty of being a dick ... especially without cause ... stop it. It does not help the situation.

Do this when you are in a situation: "Could my next words or actions be construed as me being a dick?" If yes, find a new more appropriate way to express yourself.