I bought some bamboo toilet paper recently to try and do something good for the Earth. Just testing.
When they showed up, I assigned my 8-year-old son to go and distribute them throughout the house and then to put the extras in the closet.

He actually did a pretty good job of distributing them throughout the house. Although he put them on top of the toilets rather than underneath the sinks where they belong.

But then in my closet, he didn’t know what to do with them. So, he just filled in every empty space in a cupboard which is where towels go. And it’s completely non-functional…

…But he did what I asked him to do.

Which is kind of like an OFS in the Philippines if you don’t give good instructions.

I thought my instructions were pretty good. But clearly, not what I wanted. So, he didn’t do it how I wanted it done. He did what he thought was right given the circumstances and given what he knew.

When something doesn’t go right with your OFS, consider that maybe they did what they thought was right given the circumstances and what you have given them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this over the years.  I create some instructions.  I think they’re complete and good.  I send it to one of my OFS.

What they do is completely different than what I imagine.

I go back through my instructions and find “Oh…yeah…my instructions were super crappy!”

And I’ve seen this tons of times from other employers.

They’re not purposefully doing it wrong.  There’s a reason they’re doing it wrong.

If your OFS does it wrong, your first assumption should be “what did I do wrong?”
Then say to them: “This wasn’t done how I expected it and I realize it’s my fault.  My instructions weren’t great. I made assumptions based on my knowledge that obviously you don’t have. Without me going back through my instructions, can you help me? What was unclear about my instructions? What didn’t you understand? What questions do you have?  How can I make this easier for you?”

It’s amazing what happens when you assume the problem was your fault and that the person you hired is intelligent.


PS. Want to know if you can find a talented [insert your specific role here] person from the Philippines? Try this. Go to OnlineJobs.ph. Search for your skill. Look at a few profiles. If nothing seems to fit what you’re looking for, respond to this email and tell me what you’re looking for.