What is the Drop Dead Date?

Do you ask the question when someone hands you a project? Are they honest with you? Hmm.

There is an article in the Atlantic about the clocks in Grand Central Station, which are set one minute ahead. The trains actually leave on time, but the perception (I guess) is that commuters who are rushing to catch their train find they don’t have to run – the train is still there. Thus, causing fewer accidents.

I think it’s ridiculous to do that. I’d like to see the actual data about the outcome of their deception.

It seems more like a snooze button to me. I’ll bet there are thousands of everyday commuters who know they actually have another minute to catch the train.

Okay, where I’m going with this is that I do not ‘pad’ timelines. What you see on your to-do list is real.

Because I believe in you, I believe in noting the exact date and time I want to see a comp, proof, final or whatever has been requested of you. That’s because I work with Responsible Adults who like expectations and I’m just not into lying.

However, in return, you are responsible for a) reviewing what comes across your desk (or to-do list) in a timely manner, and letting me know if there are any issues; and b) notifying me if you’re out for a latté, photoshoot or a day of repose. If you didn't take care of part b, then you have a problem. A sticky note on your monitor telling me you ran to Starbucks works for me – and a voice or e-mail if you’re out for a day or more.

It’s just plain stupid to tell you I need something today at 5pm when I actually need it tomorrow at 5pm. It’s not fair to you and a scheduling nightmare for me. But it’s really unfair – and plain rude – to everyone if you consistently deliver late.

In my superbly structured world, I have a comprehensive schedule in place for all projects and can see where everything is; who’s working on what, and if there’s enough time to work on the project I just assigned to you.

You see, I’m really looking out for you. I will not lie to you. Ever.

Earn that trust. And by the way, if you let me know when you’re going to Starbucks the latté will be on me.

There are benefits to honesty…and meeting expectations.