Business Practices - Do You Poop in the Pool?

by Pool Builders on 06-29-2010 in Articles

My family didn't really have a lot of money growing up so we didn't often vacation to exotic destinations (OK - never). Typical summer vacations included visits to cousin's houses in rural Idaho and Wyoming (is there anything but RURAL in Idaho and Wyoming), camping in Yellowstone National Park located a few hours away, family reunions in Las Vegas, and the occasional trip to a Salt Lake amusement park called Lagoon.

On the rare occasion that we did leave the area on vacation, my family visited Disneyland. For this reason, the theme park holds a dear place in my heart and might just actually be the "Happiest Place on Earth". On one visit to Disneyland, my family packed up the van (we'd graduated from the original wood sided, green, station wagon with the rear facing seat to a yellow van with a seat that folded out into a bed...I don't think it had seatbelts), and headed to Southern California. The trip looked to be an exciting and unique vacation. Instead of camping as we typically did, we were going to stay in a cheap motel near Disneyland and I was allowed to invite a friend along.

I was probably sixteen at the time and my mom let me drive much of the trip (growing up, I had my driver's license at fourteen years old). The thirteen hour drive from Idaho to Southern California was largely uneventful (although I was pulled over by an Arizona State Trooper for speeding up and slowing down as I drove the highway through the canyons between Utah and Nevada...he thought I was driving drunk...I wasn't drunk...just inexperienced). By the time we reached our motel, we were hot (no AC), tired, and ready for some relaxation.

Every cheap motel near Disneyland has an outdoor pool. The sheer number of people that stay in these hotels is mind-numbing. There are always a million kids in the pool, kids in the halls, and families in every nook and cranny imaginable. The morning after arriving at the motel, my friend, my two brothers, and I decided to take a swim. We spent quite a while in the pool and eventually started diving for things at the bottom. We'd throw change into the pool and then dive down and retrieve it. At some point during this thrilling event, my friend dove to the bottom of the pool to retrieve something brown (he must have thought it was a penny). He came to the top of the water, looked at what was in his hand, and realized that it was poop. Yep - POOP. Surprised by what he found, my friend screamed at the top of his lungs..."SOMEONE POOED IN THE POOL...GET OUT...SOMEONE POOED IN THE POOL!" And, an interesting phenomenon occurred...my two brothers, my friend and I all jumped out of the pool and started running to our room...as did several others. The interesting part was that many of the other swimmers just stayed right there and kept on swimming...IN THE POOP.

We sprinted back to our motel room. I'm happy to say that I was the oldest and fastest so I was able to shower first. We never did go back to the pool for the rest of the time we were there. It was a memorable and funny experience (after we'd showered).

So, what's the point? In your business, your department, your team, do you have employees and coworkers that poop in the office pool? What about you, do you poop in the pool?

Most days you go to work. Many of us spend as much time with our work associates as we do with our own families. The million dollar question is, "How do you approach your co-workers, your vendors, your clients and your customers?" Do you try to AVOID...

  • Participating in office Rumors, Gossip, Political Maneuvering, and Back-biting?
  • Having No Filter - Do you avoid saying everything that comes to mind, especially the negative. Do you consider the emotional impact of your words on those around you?
  • Beating Up On Others...simply because you can...because you're in charge...because you have a leadership role...or because you are in a vendor/customer relationship? Do you avoid fiscally, verbally, or managerially beating up on those around you?
  • Smack Talking Clients (and vendors)

These things are like pooing in the pool. Regardless of how far away from the poop you are when it enters the pool, poop travels and still gets on you (maybe even in your mouth - yuck). Don't allow yourself, your employees, and your co-workers, to participate in these activities...Don't poop in your office pool.

As a company, a team, a department, you're all in this together. Do what it takes to build cohesive associations that watch out for the best interest of your team, your vendors, and especially your clients and customers. Live by the simple mantra "Relationships Rule". Build positive relationships and good things will happen. You'll respect your employees, your clients, your vendors, and they'll have greater respect for you. Good things will result, you'll have more success, and you'll be happier for it.

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