My husband Michael and I took a cross-country train trip on our vacation. We loved the easy pace of the trip–reading magazines, eating in the dining car, watching the scenery roll by, not having to think about any schedule until our train arrived in Chicago.
At one meal somewhere in Montana, a man who shared our table in the dining car asked the server for his check. She was busy doing other things and didn’t ask the dining car captain to give it to the man. He said to us, "She just lost her tip. I asked for my check and she didn’t get it for me." When he did receive the check from the captain, he paid it in a great rush and left the car, leaving no tip behind.
His hurrying was senseless. With nowhere to go besides the bathroom, making the server pay for his trumped up rush was mean-spirited and stupid.
But sometimes people do that, rush thoughtlessly, even with business writing. For example:
- Although they know a proposal deadline is coming, they delay working on it, then scream to the finish. They make others fly around at the last minute, supplying data for them.
- They agree to unrealistic deadlines for documents, even when the client would have happily waited. Again, they make everyone work too fast, leading to mistakes and frustration.
- They send an email request, wait 5 minutes, and then pick up the phone to ask "Where’s my response? Didn’t you get my email?" with thoughtless urgency.
Sometimes moving fast is not efficient–it’s senseless. On our cross-country train trip, we all arrived at the station at the same time, despite that man’s hurry.
Where we live, it’s summer, and people are taking life easier. Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the pace of the season.