Find Your Backstage

A business establishment can’t lose credibility faster than when one employee is arguing with another employee in the customer’s view.  Or even if the hint of the argument is brought into the customer’s reality – in other words, throwing a colleague “under the bus”.  Internal conflict should be shielded from the customer in every conceivable way. 

The end user doesn’t want to know if the valets and the front desk of hotel are in a disagreement – they want to know their car will be returned without a scratch and that they will be able to check into their room at the prescribed time.  And the end user most certainly doesn’t want to know if you’re having a bad day or if you despise your job.

An extreme view of this came from a story I was told about working at Disney some time ago.  A colleague of mine had spent a summer as Goofy.  Literally, my associate went to work each day of the 100+ degree summer, dressed himself in a 50lb Goofy Costume complete with flannels, suspenders, and a furry, head to toe get-up.  Inside that costume the temperature must have reached 130 degrees.  Once, Goofy leaned on a nearby fence and a supervisor was quick to approach and scold.   Goofy doesn’t lean on fences.  Goofy needs to go “backstage” if he wants to do anymore leaning.

It’s about messing with the consumer’s reality.  Don’t let them see you fighting.  Find your backstage.  Business travel is stressful enough without involving the paying customer in operational drama.

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