Attention to Detail



Last night we decided to order pizza. Probably not the best idea, but it was the choice we made. After some time had passed, we were getting concerned that the order may have been skipped over, for we had not received it yet, and it had been nearly an hour and a half. I get pretty ill-tempered when I am hungry and I was tempted to call them up and yell at them for their inefficiency.

However, instead of being too hasty with my accusation, I looked up the confirmation email to see what information I might obtain. As it turned out, I had opted to pay with cash instead of my debit card, and I placed the order for carryout instead of delivery.

Who does carryout?!

This morning I get to work and one of our estimators comes up to me and says that a salesman asked him how far along he was on a particular estimate. He replied to the salesman stating that he had responded to the email request for the estimation eleven day ago with several questions that needed to be answered before he could move forward with the estimation process. The salesman was stunned at the response and said that he was under the impression the questions were directed to the engineer. The estimator emphasized to me his annoyance with the exchange, stating; …even though the email was addressed to him.”

I deal with conflict resolution every day. However, I image most conflicts and issues could likely be avoided by simply paying attention. I was quick to assume the pizza place was at fault and I wanted to retaliate as a result, because I had expectations based on assumptions and past experiences. The salesman was quick to jump the case of the estimator because he felt the estimator was not completing his tasks, when the truth was he had not been given what he needed to complete his task.

I bring these two different scenarios up because they both would have been avoided if one thing were different; attention to detail. If I would have paid attention to the settings on my mobile app when I placed my order, instead of assuming the default setting was my preferred selection, I could have avoided picking up a cold pizza.

If the salesman would have paid attention to information being requested of him, he may not have lost nearly two weeks of time to obtain an estimate for a potential opportunity. It’s quite possible we may lose that opportunity as a result.

Perhaps we should make it a priority to make sure we are not at fault before we start casting stones at others for their perceived deficiencies. Perhaps we should start paying attention to detail instead of assuming. I wonder how may conflict we could resolve simply by preventing them from happening in the first place.


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