Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Common decency isn't as common as it should be

I remember when I was younger (some would say much younger - I wouldn't) I remember breaking my leg. Kids break their legs a lot that's not the story. At the time I was old enough to mow lawns to make money and had six or so that I would cut on a regular basis. To make sure I didn't lose the customers, my father filled in for me.

After the first week he came back in and sputtered " I don't know what you are charging those people, but you should double it. You know not one of them offered me so much as a glass of water?". I think his language may have been a tad more colorful, but you can get his meaning. He told me, "Anytime someone comes to your house to do work or visit, you at least offer them a drink of water. That's just common decency"

Now it may be the decent thing to do, but I wonder how common it is nowadays. 

I know when we have our new flooring installed next week at home, we'll have soda and snacks available to offer them. We usually will offer to make the workers a sandwich for lunch. I remember my father's lesson, water is the least you offer. Almost every time we do this for a crew working at our house, they are shocked and amazingly grateful that we treated them with what I would call basic kindness. I mean it's a sandwich, not prime rib and lobster tails...

We do the same thing when we hire employees or contractors. To me they are still part of the family and should be treated like the rest of the team, regardless of how they get paid. We invite all of the team, contractors, part time folks, co-ops etc to our department events. I know not everyone does that and it seems wrong. 

That basic kindness should be common decency, not extraordinary.

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