The plan was to write something that heartfelt about God or Family or America this next blog, but thanks to an experience a few minutes ago at Wal-Mart this is going to be a blog on business and trust. For work a couple years ago I was given a book which I read called The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, Jr. It's all about how business moves faster and better if there is trust in it. Not stupid blind shoot me in the back trust, but straight forward trust such as don't keep pestering your co-worker to get something done, just trust them to do so, and it'll get done faster.
So back to Wal-Mart. I've been doing the grocery shopping lately since my wife has a condition called pregnancy. I know, I know, what an excuse right? :) About a week ago she sent me to Wallyworld with a list of things to get and a bunch of coupons and other adds from Krogers, Marsh, and other stores. She also listed all the prices next to the items in her list if the competitor's prices were better. When I got up to the line, the lady helping me asked if I had any coupons or price matches. I said I did. She said, "Great! Tell me what they are when I ring them up" and I did just that. Each time an item came up I'd say something along the lines of "Marsh is selling that for $1.67" and she would change the price. No questions asked. I was able to leave quickly and felt probably the best I've ever felt leaving Wal-Mart.
Today was a different story. I was again in line for a total of 45 minutes. This time through the cashier didn't trust me. No, he made me show him every add, even some of the fine print, and when a couple of the adds said 10 items for $10 he was going to make me go and buy 9 other items, even though everyone and their brother knows that stores really mean they are selling those things for just $1 and you don't have to buy ten of them. His manager had to come over and tell him I was right and to give me the stuff for $1 each. I left Wal-Mart this time with a bad taste in my mouth, probably a good 15 minutes later than I needed to be leaving, and not feeling trusted.
To me this was a real life example about the speed of trust. The first Wal-Mart cashier trusted me. I got out of there quicker, even came back only a week later, and they saved money because they were able to get more customers through the line faster. The second cashier really annoyed me, probably really annoyed the people behind me, and took that much longer which means Wal-Mart pays him more. Now I'm sure there are people out there that would lie and say that gallon of milk is $1.99 at Marsh instead of the $2.09 it really is, but I'm guessing those are few and far between.
So my suggestion to Wal-Mart, to all the small businesses out there, to the managers and supervisors across America, and even to the parents and siblings in your homes, if you want to increase speed and efficiency then you need to trust the people you are with. Again, not some dumb blind trust such as let's hire a child molester to work in the day care, but good business trust such as not wasting time making the customer prove that Uncle Ben's Spicy Rice is $0.15 less over at Kroger's.
By the way, Stephen Covey Jr didn't pay me for this blog, but if he would like to I'd trust him to send the money to my home address.