Do you remember this?
As businesspeople, our beliefs have deep implications for how we operate.
To optimise same, I’d like to know:
- Were the old days actually good?
- Are these days better?
- If not, can we go back?
It all began with the garbage truck …
Dad and I were chatting on his terrace.
Having put a smashed concrete planter in his wheelie bin, he worried the ‘garbo’ wouldn’t take it.
As heavy vehicles approached, he wondered if each were the garbo.
I said that in the good old days, the garbo always came at the same time every week, and that today’s outsourced contractors were all over the joint.
Some time later, a deep roar murdered all other sound.
‘That’s the garbo’, said Dad.
A leviathan hove into view, its dwarfed driver leaning out to peer at Dad’s bin.
With a shriek, a mechanical claw swooped, plucked and tipped the bin into the bowels of the beast.
The speed and force were so great, I expected the bin to vault the road and slay a knot of schoolchildren opposite.
‘Well, Dad’, I said. ‘You needn’t worry about bunging that bloke’s back with your blocks!’
Dad replied that in the good old days, there were three men to each truck: runner, tipper and driver.
I added that when I was a child, our garbos recognised me and were friendly.
At xmas, Mum left cash and a thank-you note for them.
In our letterbox.
‘That was before the drugs came,’ said Dad.
And though Doncaster wasn’t a noted 60s hotspot, I knew what he meant.
Driving home, I listed conditions that would have to exist for the good old days to return:
- Public ownership of sanitation services.
- Job satisfaction.
- Job security.
- Reduced (or no) key performance indicators.
- A sense of community.
I seem to recall these used to exist in our society.
Yet time can colour our thoughts.
I also remember that dogs, kids, rust and wind wrought havoc with old tin bins.
And so, my questions anew:
- Can we rekindle the best of the past?
- Should we?
Or is the way we presently do business the best?
Dump your brain,
and glean fresh insights