The Handbook Says

Do you ever wish you could change the rules to work in your favor? I no longer have to wish, for now I am the one who writes the rulebook — and therefore I can change the rules. As some people once said, “He who has the title makes the rules.”

(Or maybe it’s “He who has the gold?” I don’t have any gold, but I do have plenty of silver fillings.)

Now that I’m in charge, I adapt the world around me to meet my expectations. Sure there are one or two rules that still apply — murder probably — but the rest are open to (my) interpretation. When I see something wrong with how I am treated in the world, I make it a rule in the company’s employee handbook for everyone’s benefit to me.

Let me explain.

An underling chose to leave our company recently. I’ll never understand why. She curiously asked if her unused vacation time would be paid out to her, which I affirmed. I mean, it sounded right at the time. She must have tricked me with appeals to my logic and morality… (I’m quite glad she’s leaving.)

It turns out that the underling handbook explicitly states that vacation time will not be paid out upon resignation.

Though I did say her vacation time would be cashed out, a mere verbal contract holds no weight compared to typed and printed words on a page. [Our handbook is actually a digital file, but you get the idea.] What is the value of words compared to a document?

I emailed her saying I have to defer to the handbook rules (which I wrote). Really, I am just deferring to myself. An earlier myself.

Attached to my email was the handbook, because at times like this all a person needs is proof they are wrong to help them feel better.

I wouldn’t want for us to part ways on bad terms, after all.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Regardless of what the rules say, avoid the temptation to do what is convenient over what is right. As a leader you are the example, and you are better than that.

Sometimes it costs money to make things right. You can always earn more money, but trust abused is trust lost. You will never regret treating others as you want to be treated.