Working in accounts payable is pretty easy. You get invoices from faceless companies. You issue company cheques. You sit at your desk and crunch numbers. Company X gets paid on the 17th. and company Y on the 21st.
That’s it. But what if it wasn’t?
What if you decide that your job in the accounts department tucked behind the stock room on the ground floor is the most important in the company so you decide to get to know the folks to whom you write those cheques. That Company X is really run my Mr Ben, a short, stocky man who has been entrepreneur for ten years and spends a lot of his time working with young people, 15-18 year old drug addicts in a church rehab programme. Most of his own salary goes there.
Will it matter how quickly you issue his cheque? It might. But it will certainly make you aware of the consequences of a late payment. Suddenly the cheque owed to Mr Ben has a story.
And what if you decide that you want to be more efficient in getting Mr Ben his cheques on time so you automate the payment systems. Mr Ben and others now know exactly what time their cheques will get to the bank. No more standing in line. No more delays. No more saying that the cheque is waiting on another signature.
Suddenly you, the accounts payable person operates like a VP/ Accounts, renowned for your efficiency and care. “ How are you Mr Ben and that 15 year-old you’ve been working with, has he stopped using?”
At Christmas parties your CEO’s ears ring if only because so may people have the nicest things to say. You become your company’s most important brand ambassador.
Same thing with the person who greets customers at the door, I suppose.
What if you replace the grumpy, unfriendly face with an intelligent, warm one. What if the receptionist has buy-in. What if he/she understands every person who walks through the door has a purpose: to get a job, have a meeting, audit the accounts, that they’’ve come for a reason. What if the receptionist understands that she could change the mindset of the guest.
“ How are you Mr Ben, are you here to see Mr James today? Oh did you know he just got a promotion.”
Mr Ben because of the receptionist’s help is able to have a humane moment in a business context.
Think of the job acceptance rate that will go up if the first impression is a memorable one? Think of the tax auditor might be a little more friendly if her greeting was cheerful? Think of of yourself, of how more pleasant your walk into your building will be.
Now I know what you must saying. That blogger lives in utopia. Nobody loves every aspect of her or his job. And there certainly aren’t any perfect jobs
But in this imperfect world of work I know it is possible to enjoy your job a whole heap, love the people you work with and the clients that you serve, even as you ignore the crap around.
In any case, you just can’t stop me from wondering what if … ?