Last week I was in Lowe’s. Talking to the cabinet guy, who didn't really seem to have a clue what I meant when I said I needed someone to make me a new manicuring table.
While we were talking, I noticed a woman walking around the store with a GREAT @*!@*ing DANE on a leash wandering through the store. So I asked the guy when they changed their policy regarding pets in the store.
He said that "technically" people weren't supposed to bring their pets in the store. So I asked why they didn't say something and he tells me that they "can't" because they "can't" offend anyone.
WHAT?! Are you kidding me?!
So I then inquired as to why they even bothered having a policy if the company won't allow its staff to enforce it.
We talk a lot on the networking forums about policies. The trade magazines have published a lot of articles about policies. Policies are something that get a lot of attention in business classes. If you are going to set a policy, you need to enforce it. Whether it's a no-kids policy, a late policy, a no-show policy, or a policy about people who wear plaid hats with pictures of lemurs on them. There's no point in setting the policy if you aren't going to enforce it. And if you don't enforce your policies, then you have no business getting all hurt when your clients break it.
So, be sure you stick to your guns when someone shows up wearing a lemur-trimmed, plaid hat. And next time you see someone walking their dog in the hardware store, make sure you take a moment to speak to the manager about how their "policy" of not enforcing their policies not only offends you — the person who thought in advance to leave your dog at home — but also offends you as a business person, who has to enforce her policies at work even though the Big Corporation has managed to teach its customers that policies are meaningless.