Dumb Practices: Should You Sign Things You Can’t Read?

There are few things worse at work than doing something you regret and knew better beforehand.

Dumb and Dumber

Things that were dumb at first blush and seem dumber every time you revisit them.

Things like accepting a job having no idea what you’re going to be paid, transferring to a role and not knowing whether the role makes you still eligible for stock options or a bonus, and committing to work with someone and not asking the question “Do you plan to be around for awhile?

Here’s one more: signing off on a set of policies and guidelines that not only have you not seen or read, but haven’t even been issued yet.

From the land of stuff you can’t make up, here’s language one organization asked people to sign-off on earlier this year:  “I will read and will follow the policies and guidelines set forth in the handbook. (Note: the handbook will be available later this year).”

I’ll confess to not walking through all the car rental language every time I rent a car from the same company. But I’ll also come out and say that every once in awhile I do actually slow down and look at the fine print.

You should too.

Avoid signing off on things at work for which you have no idea what’s included because you can’t read them. Especially if it’s a signing off for things that haven’t yet been issued.

Life Back West is an occasional set of writings focused on ways people, teams and organizations can be both more effective (doing the right thing) and more efficient (doing the right thing well). More about executive, career and team / leadership coaching services can be found at the “About J. Mike Smith and Back West, Inc.” sidebar or the “Hire Me” tab. You can also read an online interview with me at WhoHub.

Dumb and Dumber: Photo credit: Wikipedia


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