Sunday, December 04, 2005

Responsibility. As I grow older, I realize the tremendous :"responsibility" that goes with the word! So often I find that people in positions of responsibility seem to avoid taking it, at moments of reckoning. I recently had someone who promised to pay me "in advance" for some work I did. I charge different rates for those who pay in advance, and those who pay on delivery. Since there were big volumes involved, I agreed to lower rates a little further. He reqeusted that I start processing work, while he processed payments. And fully trusting this soul, did everything and delivered stuff (there was a major urgency factor involved in this client's need)

Then comes the moment of reckoning. He sheepishly says that his company's accounts dept says that the normal processing time is 30 days! I let hell break loose. Till he brought in "a senior", who intervened and God bless him - paid me in two days. The senior reqeusted for a meeting, and we listened to each other, and have arrived at certain commitments for the future.

I could not resist asking the original requestor - "You have been in the company long enough to know policies - how could you promise to pay in advance"? His answer "but in our discussion, we had actually agreed that I could pay later"!!!!!!! AND "I did not know about our payment methods".

I also told him that if anyone from my organization had stayed with me long enough and did not know some fundamental policies, I would have sacked him/her. Also - that it was fine to make mistakes, but trying to evade responsibility for mistakes was UNACCEPTABLE

The senior once again intervened and accepted responsibility on behalf of the original person in question. Hats off to him. It was his intervention (in spite of being new to the company), his accepting responsibility on behalf of his company for a blunder committed by the next level person (who had been in the organization long enough) that made me agree to discuss doing further business in future