Humans are amazingly consistent creatures. In fact, if you have a cell phone, your cell phone carrier can predict where you will be 93% of the time. Shocking, isn’t it, how much of our lives are run according to routine? With that in mind, it’s no surprise that consistency has a place within one of DISH’s values. DISH Value #5 reads: “Be fair and consistent: Implementing our policies and procedures.”
Denise Riggins, Windsor General Manager, agrees. “Our tenants need consistency,” says Denise. “This is their home. They need the routine events, schedule, and communication. Dependability is so important for them because it provides stability. Doing something for one person means that you’ve got to do it for everyone.” Our tenants are just like anyone else, even though they’ve lived such chaotic lives.
But how do we apply fairness and consistency in a place surrounded by chaos like can seem so prevalent in the Tenderloin?; in large part, this area of the city is the farthest thing from consistent. When you’re walking down the street, you’ve got to be careful where you put your feet because you can’t count on a clean sidewalk; if you interact with someone sitting or standing on the sidewalk, they could be calm, very upset, or schizophrenic. In this scene of chaos, how can DISH bring consistency and stability to its tenants?
“Everyone likes consistency,” says Jeff Meier, Windsor Janitor. “One person doesn’t want to feel left out so you’ve got to treat everyone the same. It’s an attitude that brings commitment and follow-through.” Commitment and follow-through “means acknowledging good or bad wherever it appears,” says Doris Shabazz, Windsor Desk Clerk. When DISH Value five talks about consistency and fairness, it is really talking about following through on the standards that DISH has set. You must be tenacious, stubborn, and constantly looking to DISH procedures for guidance.
Doing the Little Things
In carrying out consistency, the little things matter. “Even the coffee not being made can get people upset,” says Jerome Bradford, Windsor and Roving Janitor. It’s the little things that can throw off someone’s day, like when a desk clerk doesn’t smile at the tenants, or the TV isn’t working. Even the things that very few people see or really think about are vital to remaining consistent.
“For the hotel, there are goals that can’t be reached without behind-the-scenes consistency,” says Alejandro Alfaro, Windsor Maintenance Worker. “If you don’t clean the units at the right pace, that affects the turnover, which affects getting people housed.” Alejandro’s right: suppose someone forgets to order tile on time, which means that unit turnover is delayed, which means that someone on the street has to spend more time there instead of moving into a home. Or suppose that someone at Tides forgets to mail the paychecks. That would definitely throw things off!
DISH’s success at housing our tenants has come in large part because of consistency and fairness. So keep up the good work, and remember to follow-through and do the little things!