The Case of the Stinky Watermelon
Recently, my domestic bliss was briefly interrupted by a heated discussion with my husband about the proper way to dispose of a watermelon. Let me explain.
Last week, a stench started emanating from our garbage can outside. I never knew about it or smelled it because I keep my car in the garage and rarely have to pass by said trash can. My husband, however, has to walk past the garbage can to get in his vehicle every morning. Bum luck for him given these particular circumstances.
Anyway, we were both in the garage when he said to me: “Dear, the watermelon leaked out of the bag it’s in and attracted a lot of bugs. And the smell is horrible. Can you please let me put out that kind of trash from now on?”
Being the type A person I am, I retorted with something like this: “I’m a big girl. I’ve been taking out the trash for years now and think I can handle it on my own.”
Well, that didn’t lead down a productive conversation path, to say the least. His argument was that if it had been done right, the leak and ensuing smell wouldn’t have happened. I maintained that I’ve been doing it that way for years, and this had never happened before. How could I be to blame?
There is actually a PR lesson in all of this. Sure, I’ve been throwing out the trash (and multiple watermelons rinds) for years without such negative repercussions. However, this time around, the trash sat in there for a good six days, and the summer heat has been intense – circumstances that may have ultimately undermined my success in containing the mess.
Business circumstances change, as well. Companies evolve. Landscapes become harsh. Customer expectations shift. And when this happens, we can’t just simply say, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it,” and then expect tried-and-true results.
We must pay attention, we must adapt and we must heed good counsel. We must never be too proud to say we’re wrong and that we made a mistake. If you do that, you (unlike me) won’t be stuck cleaning up an impossible mess of stinky ole watermelon in 100-degree heat.