A Story About an Office Boy

A friend of mine told me a story about an office boy who was working in an expedition company. That was saturday, the office’s closed, and he’s told by his boss to work over the weekend at the warehouse. His boss’ order was clear: do not open the warehouse until monday.

Saturday afternoon, a customer came to the warehouse. The customer said that there was a package which had been sent a couple of days ago from other city, and that package should have been arrived at the warehouse, and he really needed it right away. So, he asked the office boy to give the package to him.

Of course, the package was still somewhere in the warehouse. And the office boy said that he could not open the warehouse during the weekend, because he was not allowed to do so. But the customer insisted and said that the package was so important to him. Still the office boy did not want to open the warehouse and took the package for the customer.

The customer then tried to give the office boy some money. The office boy refused the money and kept saying no to the customer to open the warehouse. The customer looked very upset.

At that moment, the office boy was thinking of something. A man who’s standing in front of him was his company’s customer and he should not make the customer upset. On the other hand, he was ordered not to open the warehouse no matter what. He tried to find a way so he could make the customer happy but at the same time he would not be blamed because of taking the package from the warehouse.

The office boy went into the warehouse and looked for the package. He then gave the package to the customer and aksed the customer to sign the receipt. The customer thanked him and still tried to give the office boy some money, but he refused it.

The customer was happy but now the office boy seemed to be in trouble because he had disobeyed his boss’ order.

Monday morning, the boss asked the office boy to come into his room. The office boy seemed to be reprimanded. The boss asked some questions to the office boy about what happened during the weekend. The office boy told everything and admitted that he had opened the warehouse and took a package for a customer.

Suddenly, the boss stood up and gave the office boy an envelope, and said: “Thank you, son. A very important customer of our company called me yesterday and said he was impressed by what you did on saturday. Above all, you have shown yourself to be an honest man. I really appreciate it”.

Moral of the story: sometimes we find ourselves in the situation between following the rules and ensuring the work or operation is running smoothly. Unless the situation is a safety-related, we may bend the rules, but do not break them.

We often perceive that rules are created to limit us. Then we will be trapped and fenced by the rules. If that happens, we tend to work slower, not flexible and not responsive, and that certainly will not make our customers or clients happy.

Bending the rules is acceptable as long as we follow these principles:

  1. It is not breaking the Law
  2. We do not take advantage of it
  3. It does not disrupt the main operations

What do you think? Do you agree with me? ๐Ÿ˜€

3 thoughts on “A Story About an Office Boy

  1. Great story, but I have a question: what did the boss learn from this exercise? We can’t expect our employees to make these calls on their own. It’s great when they do, but the office boy shouldn’t be put in a situation where he has to decide what is best for the company. My suggestion: give the boy a HP and next time he can call! ๐Ÿ™‚

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