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Who do you TRUST?

  • April 9, 2013

What does the word TRUST mean to you? To me, it means to place confidence in something or someone.

Recently, I was standing on the 16th floor of a building, I walked to the near floor-to-ceiling window over looking the site of the soon-to-be arena district, and I placed both hands on the pane of glass that was the only force keeping me from falling forward, plummeting to death. I thought about the many architects, engineers and builders that designed and built this building. I stood looking down towards the concrete below, and tried to comprehend how I was able to press on this glass, with all my weight on the edge of this floor, and not budge the structure at all. I was amazed at how I could trust the numerous people who planned and built this structure to keep it standing, and keep people safe from harm. It started me thinking about how I entrusted my life to dozens (if not hundreds) of people I didn’t even know.

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This thought amplified as I looked at the cars below. All those drivers trusting the engineers and producers of the vehicle they were driving. From trusting that the brakes will stop them when the pedal is pressed, to starting the engine and not having it explode, to trusting that the glass around you won’t shatter into a thousand pieces and slice you.

I then looked at the McDonald’s bag in a nearby trash can, and thought about the food we eat. We trust the farmers, producers, cooks, bakers, slicers, packagers, etc. to handle the food we ultimately consume – daily.

Yes, I know there are international safety standards in place that producers and manufacturers need to adhere to. Yes, I know there are inspectors in every plant, and on every assembly line. But, I also know this…

In the last few years:

1) a number of people have been made sick or have died as a result of contaminated beef.
2) numerous vehicles have been recalled from a couple major auto producers.
3) there is a widespread fear of unwanted pregnancy as a result of an error in birth control pill production.

And that’s just a start, and doesn’t even account for the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of dollars and resources WASTED by companies failing to do all they can to produce quality products.

Yes, there are standards and inspections in place. No, they don’t always work. Yes, the public (and companies) are impacted as a result.

We trust thousands of people daily to produce and supply QUALITY products and services. We are ignorant and complacent to many of the processes these companies deploy to deliver their products or services we consume. And many of these companies focus on PROFIT before PEOPLE, which results in a lack of quality being put into their processes, resulting in poor products and inevitably…recalls.

The next time you drive through a fast food restaurant and don’t get food to order, think about the process that lead to a poor quality product. What else in the chain failed to meet your or international standards?

So, here are my questions.

  1. Where has quality gone?
  2. How can we demand better quality products and services?
  3. Who do you trust?