This morning I groaned as the thermometer read a whopping twelve degrees BELOW ZERO. Hence, after dropping the girls off to start their day, I decided to treat myself to a bagel before my morning conference call. I stopped into my friendly neighborhood Panera, and was mildly annoyed to see a CENERGY van parked lopsided across what normally would have been 2-3 parking spaces in front of the building. I parked further out than I cared to in the coma-inducing arctic cold and trekked into the building to get my morning treat.
On my way out, the driver of the van in question was getting into his vehicle. "Nice parking," I commented to his obvious lack of skill. I tried to make it sound playful and teasing, but I'll admit there was probably an underlying tone of annoyance. His response? "I slid on the ice on the way in and just figured... eh... whatever." Then he was in his van and off and running, oblivious to any inconvenience he may have caused anybody else.
Now, I don't know what CENERGY does. I don't recall ever spending money with them. However, if I'm representing my company's brand in any capacity, it's certainly NOT going to be accompanied with an "Eh... whatever." While I'm a law-abiding citizen and a fairly even-keeled guy, if I'm wearing Drake gear or Carpe Factum wear especially, I make sure that I'm on my absolute best behavior. My brand is showing to the world, and the last thing I want is somebody thinking that "eh... whatever" is good enough for me. Brian Phillips has a great article about quality and apathy and making claims. He makes a good argument that there are times when good enough is, really, good enough. But I'd be willing to bet that not even Brian would let his clients hear him saying "Eh... whatever."
Now, a small parking indiscretion on a frigid day really doesn't warrant a major chastising in my book. But I wonder about the values of this technician. Does he approach his job with an "eh...whatever" attitude? Or (to his defense) was it just too cold in his book to fix the problem for a quick trip into the shop for breakfast on-the-go? I can understand that. But I really hope it is not indicative of a larger organizational-cultural issue. I'd hate to think of an entire organization of "eh... whatever" drones serving the public at large.