Today, A Theme Emerged

AccountabilityAccountability. A wonderful word, is it not? Rife with meaning, deep with implication.

ac·count·a·bil·i·ty  /Pronunciation Key [uh-koun-tuhbil-i-tee]  – noun

1. the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.

Seems simple enough.

My morning drive to work was interupted when I witnessed a small green Honda hit someone on a crosswalk. The person on the crosswalk was well established in the street, clearly halfway through her second lane of crossing the street with teh walk light blaring like a beacon of safety. The Honda driver, was completely oblivious as it made a left hand turn and struck the girl. Luckily for the pedestrian, she had seen the car in time and largely side-stepped what would have been a hard hit. The driver of the green car momentarily slowed down then drove away. I stopped and rolled down my window and asked if the girl was alright. She indicated she was ok and was proceeded to finish crossing the street.

I do not see myself as a vigilante, or a vanguard of human rights, but I was pissed off at the driver in the green car. I caught up to the car that was stopped at the next light. Flashed my lights a couple of times to let him know I was behind him. I used the time at the lights to jot down the license plate: 436 FWX. I followed the car until it stopped in teh parking lot of the Sherwood Mall and pulled up alongside. I indicated that he should roll down his window. Inside the car, the kid driving could not have been much more than 16-17. We all know that accidents happen, but the fact that this kid drove off without checking to see if he hurt someone really stuck in my craw. I told him that and indicated I would be phoning in the details of the “Hit & Run” along with his license number in case the girl was hurt in someway. I have no idea if I made a difference in this kid’s attitude or not, meh.

My theme continued at work when I offered some assistance to an employee. I “job shadowed” this person for most of the day and I feel bad for how she is set up to fail. There is so much aggregate silliness that sometimes companies or people do not know how to peel the layers of the onion back to get to the core of something. Quite often, people are given a set of procedures to follow with the simple statement: “This is the way we have always done it”. I am gifted with the simple word. I remember it from when I was two years old. This one word carries with it the monumental power to slice and dice, to bring low mighty bureaucracy. This word is: “Why?”

Armed with my one word vocabulary, I participated in one simple sales process. This process was supposed to be straightforward enough. As we set about the process, I found that my one word was put to much use.

Five pages of notes and I feel that I can now venture into other areas of the company to seek the answers to the “Why” of this bloated process. Why? That lone word will help me ferret out the accountability of what is behind some tasks that appear silly at face value. The answers are simple. We will either learn the reasons behind some taks and hence we will be wiser and have a more fulfilling view of our role in this process, or, we will cease to engage in these activities that offer little or no value.

A bounty on silliness. That’s what this is. Don’t misunderstand me. I do not think I am smarter than the average bear, I am no better, I am no more clever than the next guy. My saving grace is the quest for accountability, armed solely with my wondrous little word “Why?”.

There, I feel better for my rant.

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