by Jeffrey R. Murphy, Executive Vice President, Drilling Service Co.
How do you behave in another man’s house?
I recently conversed with a friend with whom I do business. We meet often to go over various business items and make adjustments where necessary. This person is very comfortable in our office and with our staff. We’ve known him and have done business together for some time.
Most visitors enter our office through the front door and speak to our front office staff. They announce who they are and who they want to see. My friend skipped this process. He came through the closed door marked “Private” in big letters and came directly to my office. He sat down in my office and waited for me to finish what I was doing. I was usually in the middle of something and may even be on the phone. Sometimes he went office-to-office talking to some of the other folks here while waiting for me to finish.
I broached this etiquette lapse to my friend during our most recent conversation. At first he seemed slightly taken aback at my request to have him stop in the front office and wait for me to come out. He said that our long, close relationship made him feel like family: someone who was welcome to walk back to my office. After a minute of consideration he said something else...
He said he’d follow the rules while he’s in another man’s house.
That got me thinking. How do any of us behave when we’re in “another man’s house?” This includes offices, sporting events and school functions with our kids. Do we always respect the “rules of the house”?
There are rules for most of our day-to-day activities. Life is smoother with these rules in place. Imagine traffic without rules (no speed limits, stop signs, lights, or arrows). Following the rules while remembering where you are is paramount in a civilized society. Watching your alcohol intake at the company Christmas party falls into this category.
One of the cornerstone maxims at our company is "Murphys’ Law #6: Communicate and collaborate to ensure smooth operation." This reminds us to respect the rules of another man’s house. Or, in this case, the jobsite. We take this very seriously and always want open communication so everyone knows the rules of the job. We believe it's one of the reasons our longstanding customers invite us back.
Following the rules while in another man’s house is good advice for anyone at any time.