December 11, 2013

Getting It In Writing

So this is funny, this company, Knock Knock makes witty office supply products.

This one is a picture of file folders that say, "Useless documents to provide appearance of importance in meetings."

They have another set of folders with, "Papers to shuffle endlessly thereby accomplishing nothing."

These reminded of the importance of getting things properly documented, in writing. 

Otherwise you get the unfortunate scenario that goes something like this when coming to agreements with others:

- Person #1: "If it's okay, can I get that in writing?"

- Person #2: "You have my word. Don't you trust me?"

The end result is an undocumented verbal agreement, and this is invariably followed, at some future time, by a disagreement, as follows:

- Person #1: "Well we agreed [fill in the blank]."

- Person #2: "I don't recall that. Do you have it in writing?"

When someone refuses to give it to you in writing that is a clear warning sign, and bells and sirens should be going off in your head--loudly--that there is a problem.

The lesson is:

- Get it documented in writing, period. 

- Documents are not useless even if some people use them to look important or they get caught in paperwork paralysis. 

- Verbal agreements are a he says, she says losing game. 

- Avoid getting caught without the documentation that spells it all out--and you can put it in one of these cool folders too.  ;-)

Note: This is not a vendor or product endorsement. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

No comments: