Lessons from the Office Printer


How you do anything is how you do everything. Your “character” or “nature” just refers to how you handle all the day-to-day things in life, no matter how small.

Here’s something that happened recently in the office which I feel compelled to share.I tasked everyone in the SG office to learn how to clean the office printers when they malfunction. The printers cost $800 each and we have bought one of it less than a month ago. They should not malfunction so easily BUT in the event they do, I told the team that I expect everybody to be able to clean it themselves. 

You use it, you clean it.

This morning, one staff told me that he did not print any event layout sheets to pass to our tentage supplier later during setup for a family day event. With so many things in the layout, it is impossible for the supplier to complete their work on time without a physical printed copy. His reason is that the office printers were not working when he was rushing off at 7 pm last night and while another staff tried to clean it, he but couldn’t get it done within minutes. So they left.

Here are some points I shared with the team:

  1. Nobody owes you a living. If you need to use the printer (or anything else in the office), then learn how it works.
  2. When you’re doing an elaborate event setup, it is only right and professional to bring a printed layout to pass to our contractors.
  3. If you want something bad enough (e.g. you feel that it’s important to bring a printed layout), then you will find another way to get it done. No excuses.

Your attitude reflects on your teammates.

When you show that you don’t care, then your teammates will also show the same behaviour. If you want to have a bad attitude, then keep it to yourself. It is contagious.

– FS