It’s Not You!

A very interesting pattern has been emerging over the past few months – both with me and my clients: people not doing their jobs, or people doing their jobs at a very substandard level. It ranges from supermarket employees to service people to tech people, and on and on. Remember the days of “pride in workmanship,” “pride of home ownership,” and those kinds of notions? Where has that gone?

It seems like so many want to just get through it, passing on their lack of interest, commitment, knowledge, and everything else to the customer / consumer / person at the receiving end … who is then caused to address the issue a second time, hoping someone … anyone … will help. Being given the incorrect information on the phone, being sent to the wrong department, having someone install the wrong part,  being on hold for 45 minutes because no one knows how to answer a simple question, asking someone to pass an important message on to someone else who is unavailable and having it go nowhere, working with someone who spends most of their time on their cell phone and gets paid the same as you… The list goes on and on.

Many are very tempted to say, “Hey, if they can all get away with it, why am I working so hard? Why don’t I slack off and give inferior service like everyone else?” The easy answer? There are two. First, simply, you just can’t. It’s not who YOU are. And if you tried, intentionally, to do a less-than-your-best job, it would haunt you – guaranteed. No matter what is going on around you, no matter how inferior the service you receive is, don’t lose yourself in the midst of that and lower your own integrity. It will feel very badly within you. Continue to do your best – your personal best – and nothing less. Second, perhaps these people are doing their personal best. We tend to hold people up to our own standards – which many cannot meet. Give them a break. Perhaps they have just been diagnosed with something, or a loved one has. Perhaps they have just suffered a break up. Maybe they are trying to figure out how to feed their family with a minimum wage job. Or maybe 37 people have already yelled at them today, and it’s only 10 a.m. Take the high road … bless them, do your best to remedy the situation, and go on your way. There are just too many things that we are unaware of  …