So anyway, we recently went to Trecco Bay Caravan Park. Between you and me, and in the words of my packet of coco pops, it fell beneath the high standards I naturally expected. But the kids loved it, which was the main thing.
Really, in many ways, it wasn’t bad. But the minor grumbles kept adding up. Take the checking in process. You can’t check in until 4pm (which I thought was a tad on the late side) and you have to be out by 10am on the day you leave. Clearly it doesn’t take the 6 hours to clean every single caravan.
When you arrive around four, so has everyone else. There are huge queues; tempers are frayed; the staff look stressed; all in all it’s a bad start. By 5pm, it’s all quiet and the staff are twiddling their thumbs.
“Why” – I asked myself – “don’t they simply charge a small premium to check in in early or check out late? Then you spread people out. There’s no queues; staff and customers are less stressed; your people make a better impact and you make more money.”
Damn looking at everything with the eyes of a business analyst!
I know it’s my job and all that, but I really should stop it at home…
And then there was the swimming pool. We got to this – the feature the kids had been looking forward to for days – to be denied entry with all of our children because two of them were under four. The staff pointed out that it was in the T&Cs, and then – rather inanely – suggested that we find another adult.
Once more I fumed about such poor business management. I’d had to enter the ages of our kids on their website to book. Would it be too much to ask to pop up a message warning of the limitations on activities? They can point out T&Cs to their hearts content, and so long as they only expect each customer to visit once, and don’t rely on customer recommendations, that’s fine. But in the real world, sustainable business doesn’t work like that.
Damn again! Looking at everything through the eyes of a business analyst!
And wherever we go – restaurants; days out; the lot – I carry on doing it. It’s just hard to switch off.
The other day I was reading a reflection on Mark 3:19-26 which ended with the question “Who, or what, is Lord of my life?”. A couple of days later it was Ephesians 1:3-14 (apparently in the original text it’s all one sentence – given that it’s Paul writing this is perhaps unsurprising) which refers to us being “in Christ” no fewer than 11 times. A little excessive maybe.
And the train of thought both of these sparked off could have been much better prompted by far more direct bits from the bible. Except that I wasn’t reading the others at the time.
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with seeing things as a business analyst, but when I look at the world, in Christ, my overriding perception should be to see it through his eyes. The same “un-switch-offable” instinct which cuts in to pick things out from a business perspective should be picking things up from God’s perspective. And, in fairness to myself, sometimes it does. But the fact that often it doesn’t reminds me of where I need to focus my heart, and which eyes I need to see with.
© 2011 Paul Brownnutt
[Originally Published 17th May 2010]