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What ever happened to accountability? Seriously! Where did it go?


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CarWash College™ Tip of the Month
What ever happened to accountability? Seriously! Where did it go?
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Nothing is anyone’s fault anymore it seems. There’s always an excuse. There is no more, “the buck stops here” (younger folks may have to google that to understand).

I may be old fashioned, (insert old man joke here) but growing up I was taught that if I made a mistake, I was to own up to it and face the consequences.  The consequences served as a reminder of what I did wrong so that I didn’t do it again. Whether it was in school, sports, or home life, there was always a price to pay if you stepped out of line. Without consequences, where’s the incentive to do it right the next time?


This isn’t a political article, but it’s hard not to wonder if accountability went out the window when political correctness stepped in. With everyone afraid of offending someone, it may seem hard to hold someone accountable without the fear of retribution or, even worse a law suit, but it still needs to be done. Your business needs to hold people accountable as well.

At the CarWash College Management class we detail how to hold people accountable. Accountability can be as easy as greasing a bearing if you have written policies and procedures in place and follow them all the time, to the letter. Below is just a quick sample of how to go about it.

  • Define goals and objectives
  • Set the appropriate discipline for each violation
  • Commit to treating all violations the same (unless there are unusual circumstances)
  • Determine timeframe to clear employee file of infraction

When we say “unless there are unusual circumstances”, we are referring to family emergencies, documentable illness, etc. not the “dog ate my homework” type of excuses we’ve all heard over and over.

Some of the benefits of having this type of system in place are:

  • Minimizes unnecessary litigation for wrongful termination
  • Avoids unfair treatment
  • Diminishes individual judgment calls
  • Provides a system of steps for supervisors to follow every time
  • Provides written documentation of infractions

Sadly, we live in a very litigious society. We need to protect ourselves from frivolous wrongful termination, discrimination, and other lawsuits by making certain we have clear and consistent policies and procedures in place.


Having been in this industry for close to three decades in numerous positions, I can honestly say that we have some of the most innovative, creative, and hardworking people I’ve ever met, yet I hear horror stories of how some have settled lawsuits or are in arbitration over labor disputes because they failed to document infractions prior to terminating an employee.

Accountability needs to make a comeback in our country. I’ll start.

I am fully responsible for the content of this article. If I offended anyone, hold me accountable.

Bob Fox is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at [email protected]. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit CarWash College or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.


This content is sponsored by CarWash College. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Professional Carwashing & Detailing editorial team. 


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