Cafe Witness

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Value of Keeping Your Word

Like most humans, I need to use the restroom on occasion. When I'm working from a cafe, that's always a hassle because there are very few cafes in this city where I feel comfortable leaving my laptop / phone / notebook, etc., laying about untended. (It's no indictment of the character of Pittsburghers -- I wouldn't want to leave my equipment laying out ANYWHERE.)

Today, I took a flyer. The guy sitting next to me at the 61C was working just as diligently as I was, so I asked him, "Are you going to be here for two seconds?"

"A little more than that," he said.

So I got up to use the restroom, with the implied contract that he would keep an eye on my stuff.

A few minutes later, I come back to find him fully packed up and ready to leave. Apparently, by "a little more" than two seconds, he meant three. But he was standing by my table, keeping watch (and his word), until I got back. I thanked him and he took off.

Mind you, I don't know this guy. He doesn't know me. We're just two guys working on laptops in a cafe. But because he accepted my request to watch my stuff, he stuck to it, even when he could have gotten up and left -- or taken my stuff with him.

Think about that the next time you promise something to a client, a friend or a stranger -- what is YOUR word worth?

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  • Good post. I live in New York City and I've trusted someone to watch over my stuff many times

    It's an unspoken karma thing. People think one day I'm going to need someone to watch my stuff too.

    Interestingly, I only ask people who have laptops themselves to watch mine.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 3:37 PM  

  • Feel good post! thank you!
    It's nice when that happens.

    By Blogger Manx203, at 8:20 AM  

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