It takes intellectual intelligence (the one the IQ tests test) to see this. It has nothing to do with being stingy, or emotionally unevolved.
So let’s have this conversation now to cause a sudden rise in your intelligence, and potentially a sudden rise in your income, your popularity, your street value.
The story behind this knowledge comes from 1991-1992.
I was a student in Werner Erhard and Associates in 1991, when Werner appeared on 60 minutes and consequently had to leave the country, his company, and go into exile.
He sold the company to its employees, and the company faltered.
Werner suggested that they have this conversation, the one we are going to have with every vendor, every participant, every volunteer, and every staff member.
I was in many positions, so I had this conversation several times, and I think my business acumen doubled.
Every person you have interactions with is your customer.
The McDonald’s employee who takes your order, the doorman who helps you bring in the packages from your taxi, your son who wants dinner and wants it now, your boss, your subordinate, every single person.
“Customer how” you ask.
Customer in that the transaction, the quality of the transaction depends on you, and on some level, the quality of their life depends on you.
It is a distinction. A certain way of looking at life.
If you considered me a customer, for example, you would speak clearly when you post a comment. You would give me all the information and not a gram more, if you wanted me to solve a problem for you.
You would also read my instructions… instead of making up your own stuff, or assume stuff.
Customarily you are MY customer. But looking through this distinction, you are my customer, and I am YOUR customer.
Hah… unfair. You paid good money to abuse me, right? No. You paid good money to get it and use it. If the instructions are clear, and thousands of people can follow it, then not reading them, and then keeping me try to help you is abusive. How can you do that? Simple. You don’t consider me a customer, you consider me a slave. And slaves can be treated anyway you want: they are not people.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
If you treat me like that, I am certain you live that way. And your life is shitty… as was the business of the company after Werner left.
People were taken for granted, participants, volunteers, and even staff member to staff member.
Responsibilities were disowned… and the company was going under.
This conversation was triggered by the suddenly more numerous incidents of disrespect, disregard, by students and clients.
Christmas is, at least in America, about pretending that you love, pretending that you are generous, loathing that you have to express gratitude for what you get, and having to spend time, pretending, with all those people who also pretend.
So if you can abuse a third party: you seem to be jumping on the opportunity. lol.
Actually quite funny. I am not offended, I am just using the opportunity to teach you something. Something that is invaluable. Something that could have made Landmark Education, how Werner’s company is now called, a real world class company.
Unfortunately the “who is your customer” conversation was just a campaign. Not a context.
Don’t follow suit.
Make it the context of your interactions. All of them.
Now, I see that lack of humility makes this impossible. Or hard. And a ton of other things.
Bristling that “it’s not your job”.
It is. Accept it, swallow hard, and make peace with it.
Life will be smoother, life will be a lot better for you.
You’ll have compassion for the people who mistreat you. They don’t have this distinction. You’ll know that they don’t know any better, while you do.
Refrain from educating people. It is like teaching pigs to fly… won’t work, and they won’t appreciate it.
You can give them this article, if they are your subordinates… And have a discussion what it means to treat YOU as a customer. How the work can be done to be complete and thorough.
How they can detect that they don’t fully understand the discussions. Or that some pieces are missing and without them they won’t know how to do what they are asked to do.
Treating another as your customer creates a culture of co-creation, where you are willing to be 100% accountable for the quality of the relationship, and do what it takes that you can serve your customer. 1
Now, that is a life to write home about. A life to brag about. A life worth living.
PPS: If there were a god… who is whose customer?
The other distinction here is “or-ness”. The automatic view of “uneven” relationships. Either you are the customer, or the other… And it results in a life not worth living.
The secret of a good life is “and”. I am your customer, you are my customer, and I am even my own customer.
The Rav Hillel little poem points to this: “He used to say, if I am not for me who is for me. If I am for myself what am I. If not now when.”
Ponder this… and it will provide you with a useful and wonderful way to BE in relationship to everyone and everything.
“If you are for (only) yourself…” what are you? Can you live a great life that way?
“If not now when.” if you skip, slip, ignore, skimp over what is important… do you think you will ever, I mean EVER honor what’s important? Every instance strengthens one side: the bad wolf and the good wolf: which one are you feeding more?
Let me know if this went way over your head, or if you got some value.
- here is a link to a slideshow presentation… you can learn from it a lot