It's all about opportunity.
I am a store manager. It's my job to see to the petty things to prevent the big oops from happening. It's been drilled into me from my first day on the job. I get mocked here for focusing on the nit-picky stuff but but these are the foundations on which a career is established and they jump off the screen at me when I read them. I can't always see the big picture that many of you who have followed these things for a lot longer than I but I can see when something is wrong. I know where it can lead. So I post about it.
Every pass that President Obama gets now will lead to an expectation on his part that he will become more and more immune to any criticism. President Bush was roundly criticized for everything, big or small, and chose to ignore it. By most accounts, President Obama is a better man than that.
Let's call him on the little things now so that he'll realize that he'll be called to account for the big things later on.
I got thinking about this last line, and your store manager analogy while driving back from Ohio this afternoon. After a stop at Ikea I realized it was actually an excellent analogy.
You say "It's my job to see to the petty things to prevent the big oops from happening." That is correct. Those petty things you look at are integral to the workings of your store.
Now, let's expand. I can guarantee that I can come to your store and do an analysis of it and come up with a very anal list of items that are wrong. You could and would argue that most were just nits and were fully insignificant and irrelevant to the running of a profitable store...and you would be correct.
But, if you are given a pass on those things, you will have an expectation that you will be more and more immune to criticism. So, insignificant, irrelevant or not, I will call you on them just to teach you a very good lesson and so you will know that you will be called on everything, significant or not in the future.
I would imagine that you would find those conditions unreasonable. If they came from your management chain, you would, most likely look for a job where they treated you like a professional.