Friday, June 17, 2011

Knowing where the reset button is (the Oaklahoma Principle)

A friend of mine told me this story the other day:
A bunch of years ago I was working doing refrigeration repair with this guy that had been doing it for many years.  We got an emergency call from a dairy farmer who had 30,000 gallons of milk in a refrigeration tank and the refrigeration unit for the tank had gone out.
We tore out to the farm and the guy I was working with took a look at the refrigeration unit, cocked his head, reached in, and hit the reset button; the unit started right back up.  He did a couple of other things that didn't really matter and then turned to the farmer and told him that it would be $275.00.  It's important to note that the guy I worked with was a big Oklahoman and although the farmer wasn't a small guy, the Oklahoman was much bigger.
The farmer said, "All you did was hit the reset button, and that cost $275?!"  And the Oklahoman responded, "It's not about hitting the button, it's that I know where it is."
And that's the "Oklahoma Principle" of business: knowing where the reset button is.
What's interesting about this story, of course, is the fact that now you can simply go to Google and negate the Oklahoma principle for most everything: when people find solutions, they tend to post them online, which means they can be found. 

When my furnace went out a few years ago, I searched and found where the hidden reset button was and then wrote a blog post about it, which means if you have the same furnace and search by the model number, you'll find my post.  I'm guessing the service call would have been a few hundred bucks for an "Oklahoman" to come hit it for me.  Similarly, I posted several years ago about where to find parts for a Porcher toilet because it took me forever -- it's still one of the most frequented older posts on my blog.

When my washer went out, we did the research online and actually found the parts needed to repair it; we didn't want to repair it ourselves, but we knew what parts were needed and what the costs were, so there was no chance of us being charged for parts we didn't need or overcharged for the parts we needed.  Years ago I had a plumber tell me to invest $50.00 in a good toilet auger at Home Depot -- still have it and use it whenever there is a clog, which saves a $100.00 service call every time.

Knowing where the reset button is no longer the money-making advantage it used to be when information was limited . . . no matter where you're from.

Picture from Rigamorale, story from Chuck Grant (thanks, Chuck).

No comments: