Death by a Thousand Cuts

I witnessed two things today that while insignificant in the grand scheme, are those little things that can add up to something big if not identified and stopped.  The first thing was a Facebook post from my local coffee shop letting their 2k followers know that they’re closing at 11a.  The issue was, it was 10:31a so if you wanted to start your Saturday AM w/ a cup of coffee from your favorite place and weren’t already on the way you were SOL.  In addition to the post, earlier in the week they posted and made their cover page that they were closing at 1 on Saturday.  This is the same coffee place I referenced to in an earlier post,  who have their door to find “the most up-to-date hours and any unexpected closings” check their Facebook page.  While this is a minor thing, say this is the second time I have gotten conflicted times on their Facebook page and again showed up to locked doors, they may have lost business.  If I just bought a coffee 1x a day for 40 weeks for a year, they just lost $1,400 and that’s not counting any potential food purchases or referrals.  That’s just from one person.  If 10 people experienced the same thing, the consequences move up to $14,000 for the year due to 1 miscommunication.

The second thing I witnessed I heard on a major market radio station today.  What would be considered a typical break by the DJ over a song quickly became awkward and pointless.  “…2016 had a lot of celebrities passing away like Carrie Fisher and…..(awkward pause) and others. Hope we do better in 2017..”.  I’m sorry…do better?  At what?  Not dying? Keeping celebrities safe from death?  Not really sure of the point and neither was the DJ it seemed.  It was an easy break…11 seconds long. Not much thought was needed but even the simplest break can go wrong real easy.  When I was on-air (more when I was a part-timer) I would practice that break over and over and over until I was 100% on how it was going to come out.  If I wasn’t going to practice, I wrote it out…either way I wasn’t ‘winging it’. As I got further along in my career and added things (job responsibilities) that didn’t let me focus 100% on my air shift I pulled the ‘winging it’ method.  I can assure you it didn’t work out as well as I thought it would.  Throwing away a break isn’t able to be quantified as the example above but too many bad breaks can cost you a job.  If you’re a part timer, throwing breaks away could cost you not only your job but potentially a job you don’t have yet.

How hard is it in the grand scheme of things for a business to create a content calendar to know what to post on social and when?  What’s the difficulty of taking 5 minutes to practice or write out your break so you execute them flawlessly?  Since I know 100% about the latter, I can say confidently IT’S YOUR JOB to do it!  There shouldn’t be an excuse for throwing away a simple task.  It all goes back to Zero Defects.

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