Should it matter who you are talking to?

A man goes to a meeting. Everyone at the meeting has an iPad. When they break for lunch, the IT person comes in to update an app on everyones iPad. When he gets to this one man’s iPad he sees an “unapproved app” so deletes it and leaves a rude message saying, among other things, unauthorized apps are unacceptable and could/should result in the person being terminated. This person comes back from lunch, sees this message and immediately calls up the IT person and demands an explanation. It ends up that this wasn’t a company issued iPad but rather was owned by this individual. It also ends up this person couldn’t be terminated because he was attending the meeting as a member of the board of directors and wasn’t an employee of the company. The IT person apologized and said he didn’t realize this iPad was a board members device and that he never would have written that message if he knew whose iPad it was but he thought it was simply an employees. As a result of this situation, the IT person lost his job.

Did he lose his job because he deleted an “authorized app” from a persons private iPad? No

Did he lose his job because the iPad belonged to a board member? No

Did he lose his job because he left a rude note? No

He lost his job because he thought it was ok to be rude to an employee and didn’t understand that his communication was not only inappropriate to a board member but rather it was inappropriate to anyone.

The lesson to be learned is you should communicate to everyone in a consistent manner regardless of whether you think they are a janitor or the CEO. Not only might you be wrong in guessing the persons position (to assume you can know based on the way they are dressed or speak is a great way to make a mistake) but more importantly, you should simply treat everyone with respect regardless of position.

By the way, the “inappropriate app” was Words With Friends

Just something to think about.

Have a great day!


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