Let me share a story with you that illustrates how important it is to prioritize in the correct manner. George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi was going to bed one evening when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed. She knew the light was on in the shed because she could see it from the bedroom window. George didn’t remember leaving the light on but he opened the back door to go turn off the light when he saw people in the shed stealing things.
George phoned the police and told them that there were burglars in his shed, but the officer who answered the call simply asked if any intruders were in the actual house from which George was calling. George told him that no intruders were in the house but they were in his shed. The officer told George that all the patrols were busy and he should simply lock his door and an officer would be along when one was available.
George said, “Okay,” hung up the phone and then counted to 30, then he called the police and this time he told them he had called about people stealing things from his garage. He said, “No need to hurry over here because I shot all of them.” George hung up the phone.
Within five minutes three police cars, an ARU (Armed Response Unit) and an ambulance arrived at George Phillips residence. The police caught the burglars red-handed. Of course no one had been shot – no one was dead in the shed; George had simply told the police that to see if he could get someone over to his house before the thieves took everything he had in the shed.
One of the Policemen said, “George, I thought you said that you’d shot those burglars!
George said, “I lied. But, I thought you said there was nobody available to come over here!”
I don’t recommend that you play that game with the
police, but you can see how quickly priorities can change when the need is presented in a forceful manner.
Sadly, too often people needing attention from someone in business have to get forceful or downright ugly to get attention. Quality of products, ethically sound behavior and customer service must be priorities in any business. If people have to scream at us to get our attention, we have already failed.
Dr. Minnix is a well known Atlanta area pastor, writer, and speaker.