Nothing bothers me more than the phrase “that’s not my job”. I despise it. How does that help anyone? Ugh! It’s the biggest cop-out, and when you need help and you hear that phrase, you feel even more helpless. At TJA, we’re all about helping, and I can confidently say that I’ve never heard that dreaded phrase uttered within these four walls.
In fact, what many people don’t realize is that when you say those words, you’re not only dissing your customer/client, but you could be doing yourself a huge disservice as well.
Here’s what I mean…
When a client needed some custom shopping bags printed and assembled, but had a strict budget and timeline, we were faced with a pretty big challenge. After researching and pricing out the project with countless domestic vendors, we ultimately decided to source the bags from overseas. It was the most economical and fastest way to get the client what they needed on deadline and on budget.
But working with vendors overseas?! How on earth was this going to go? I don’t know anything about manufacturing, customs clearing, ocean transport, or freight forwarding. I’m not a customs broker! I can be honest and say I had no idea what I was doing, and I had never done anything like this before. It might have been tempting to say “woah…that’s not really my job…” but as we all know, that’s not our style. We were determined to figure this out for our client, and for us.
All of a sudden, I was translating emails in broken English, replying to urgent correspondence at odd hours of the night (or technically morning), diving into the deep and murky abyss of customs clearing, freight forwarding, and ocean transport, and learning tons of fun new international regulations along the way. And it was awesome.
Our overseas vendor contacts were some of the most helpful and friendly people I’ve ever met, and they really went above and beyond to make us happy. The shopping bags were perfect when they arrived from their long ocean journey, on time and on budget.
I never would have gotten the chance to experience these things if I said “Sorry – that’s not my job” when the time came to send that first email to our new vendors. Now I can add a brand new expertise to my ever-expanding skill set, since by the end of the project, I knew everything there was to know about manufacturing shopping bags and sending huge cartons of freight over the ocean. Okay, maybe not everything… but pretty close.
– Jillian Green, Production Director