24/7 Software Blog

How to Keep ‘Dumpster Fire’ in the Dictionary (And out of Your Operation)

by 24/7 Software / March 8, 2018

“What qualifies as a dumpster fire depends on who's watching, but you tend to know it when you see it,” writes Laurel Wamsley in their recent NPR article entitled “A Phrase For Our Time: Merriam-Webster Adds 'Dumpster Fire' To Dictionary.”

“But if forced to define it for someone not prone to hashtagging, you might quote Merriam-Webster,” Wamsley continues.

Dumpster fire (noun, US informal): "an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence: disaster."

The NPR article continues that, “Dumpster fire's inclusion marks a crowning moment for the treasured declaration and its oft-tweeted GIF. It's the metaphor we wouldn't want to live without — though the dictionary says the phrase's first-known usage was just ten years ago.”

"If a word is frequently used enough by some people, it has to be placed into a reference for all people,’ Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski tells NPR. He says the word has turned up often enough in print — and on social media — to merit its inclusion,” according to Wamsley’s article.

What’s your take on this addition? Do you think it deserves a spot in the Dictionary?

Either way, its inclusion is ok with us, as long as it stays there (and only there).

But, the addition into the Dictionary is not what really concerns us.

It’s the definition, and we don’t want to hear the newly added word used in association with your operation.

That’s why we felt that today is an important day to discuss this word and its impact on your property operations – especially if you’ve never heard it before.

We’re going to help you keep it in the Dictionary, where it belongs.

We’ll also give you a little insight on how to keep this bad word from being used by your customers when they refer to your team’s performance.

We only want ‘Proactive Operations’ uttered around your property.

So, keep reading; we’re going to help you avoid a Dumpster Fire.

Your Mismanaged Situation

Although the word Dumpster Fire would catch anyone’s attention, it’s not what really stood out to us.

It’s the definition that caught our attention immediately.

Just like you, we’re always thinking operations.

That’s also because we build operations management software.

But most importantly, we consider ourselves a part of your team. (It’s a natural fit)

When we saw a “mismanaged situation” in the definition – we responded accordingly.

“Oh no!”

That’s when we knew we had to address this or your operation might become in the same sentence as Dumpster Fire.

A list of mismanaged situations come to mind.

  • Arguments that escalate to fights over time, resulting in bodily harm
  • Smoking offenders that continuously slip through the cracks
  • Unruly employees that steal food and money, which affects your bottom line
  • Equipment and furniture that is always broken and noticed by your customers
  • Operational personnel that are never on the same page
  • Parking gates, elevators, and escalators that are still closed or moving in the wrong direction
  • People getting into restricted areas or in places they don’t have credentials for without your team realizing it
  • Critical operational duties not being scheduled and completed

Think about each of these for a moment.

Can you envision how your team would function during any one of these?

In a proactive operation, these might occur here and there due to Murphy’s Law.

But, in an operation where Dumpster Fires are a common occurrence – the above are known symptoms.

One or all of these will turn into a snowball effect that cripples your team and operation because you don’t have Proactive Operations in place.

You need to manage this, and now.

Do you agree?

That’s why you need Proactive Operations.

And more specifically, we want to focus your attention on a real-time communications platform.

A Real-Time Communications Platform for Preventing Dumpster Fires

Two operational factors come to our mind when we think about preventing mismanaged situations.

Do you know what they are?

  1. Organization across all aspects of your operation
  2. Real-time communication at the speed-of-type

There are probably more factors, but these are immediate and can make the impact once applied.

1. Organization across all aspects of your operation

You need to be able to think about and discuss your operation with the confidence of knowing how everything falls into place.

  • What are your departments/personnel roles?
  • How is your team structured? What’s the hierarchy (and chain-of-command)?
  • How does information flow throughout the operation?
  • Where are teams stationed? Are they static in one location or dynamic around the globe?
  • If something occurs, whether it be as simple as a customer losing their possession, it is found, and then your team returning it to them or as severe as a bomb threat or active shooter, who responds and how?

‘Organization’ also means control in the operational environment.


You have control when you are organized.

Then, nothing slips through the cracks.

A platform solution designed for proactive operations (like yours) around the world helps you organize your functions to execute your purpose.

Do you know your purpose?

We’d argue that it’s:

  • To keep your property humming and to look good, to enhance the experience of your customers, and to reduce your short- and long-term risk.

But, we also know that in this day and age, ‘organization’ isn’t enough.

Things happen fast – good and evil.

2. Real-time communication at the speed-of-type

The speed at which you need to operate is no longer associated with sclerotic operations or internet speeds.

Everything occurs in real time.

You must be proactive, which requires a platform that can maximize your performance as such.

We’re talking real-time communications deployed throughout your operation that allows your personnel to communicate in milliseconds.

Nothing slips through the cracks, but everything that occurs is managed and documented as it happens.

Let that sink in for a moment. It’s powerful stuff, right?

As your team responds to an incident, they can communicate details and manage the situation so fast that your operation never misses a beat.

You team types it, your team sees it.

It’s not magic.

It’s world-leading innovation that keeps a Dumpster Fire from affecting your operation and the people you’re responsible for protecting.

Over to You

It’s time for reflection.

After reading this article, would you say a Dumpster Fire surfaces in your operation every now and again? Well, the good news is, regardless of your answer you have access to the solution.

A real-time communications platform affords you the ability to not only organize and effectively and efficiently manage your operation but to also do it at the real-time speeds needed to be a proactive operation.

So, are you ready to take action, now?

Ready for Proactive Operations?

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