How often do you find yourself being surprised at work? And how often are those surprises happy surprises?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Unless they are guaranteed to be happy surprises, surprises are best avoided in the work place. And let’s face it, most surprises in the work place are not happy ones.

The same thing goes for the way we treat our customers. Here’s one example.

About a month ago, I joined a gym. This gym uses boxing as the basis for their group workouts. We don’t actually punch each other, we just hit the heavy bags. But, we still wrap our hands and don boxing gloves. When I joined, they told me gloves were provided. Sure enough, there was a wall rack full of loaner gloves available. Until last week.

Me: “Excuse me. Where are the gloves?”

Staff person: “Oh, we aren’t providing those any more.”


I have no issue with the gym discontinuing loaner gloves. I’m not happy about it, but I understand their decision, which they explained was primarily for sanitary reasons.  However, I have a huge issue with simply walking in one day and finding all of the gloves gone. Especially since it’s two weeks before Christmas. Hello, Santa?

How much more effort would have been required to provide 2-3 weeks advance notice while continuing business as usual? A simple sign near the loaner gloves would have been plenty.  More importantly, how much happier would the members have been with some level of up front notification?

Note that I am not suggesting that we should seek approval from those who will be impacted by pending changes. Only that we should inform those who will be impacted.

Consider this as you make changes in your business, both to your customers, and your fellow workers. A simple heads-up notification with a brief explanation of the logic behind a pending change will do wonders.

Let’s keep work fun.