‘Work’ is a four letter word.
I am big on reputation. I am true to my word. I hold myself accountable for my actions. If you give me a job to do, I do it. If I can’t, I will tell you why. There has never been a question with regards to my work ethic or devotion to the company paying my bills. Well, there better not be…
So it infuriates me when I see the system being abused. And I see the effect it has on the morale of others who work hard as they watch someone goofing off. This makes me want to knock that goofer-offer down. Hard. I might even kick them a few times, just for good measure.
Now, I am the first to admit that I would like to work less and earn more. Please. Who wouldn’t? In fact, if you know of a gig that would let me make $250k per year (base) and only have to work three hours a week - please send that on to me - well, unless it is illegal. I do have standards you know.
I also know this is a pipe dream, as most companies require you produce something for your keep, so I am happy to give my current employer a large chunk of my week in return for ‘appropriate’ compensation. I may not choose to work conventional hours (the 8-5 gig is too regimented for me), but I work hard, and I work fast, and I can sleep at night knowing my company is getting their money’s worth from me.
The world is full of good people willing to work hard to help their company succeed, so where do these goofer-offers or bad apples come from? How do they infiltrate our well-oiled machines? Why aren't they seen for what they are? How can they still believe in this day and age that you don’t have contribute to the team - you can simply punch your time card and play solitaire all day at the office? Is our generation so used to having things handed to them that working even a 30-hour week seems like it is too much? Has the notion that ‘I’ll work just enough to skate by’ become the norm? Are we all just killing time until we hit that next big thing? Gosh, I hope not.
Maybe I have just been ‘lucky enough’ to be privy to a handful of rare cases of abuse by a few bad apples who have yet to be knocked on their ass by reality. Wow, that was a run on sentence. And, unfortunately, this sort of behavior is not isolated. No matter what the industry or position, I seem to find these sorts of people everywhere.
This brings up a few interesting questions to consider. If you see this type of abuse in your company - should you blow the whistle or simply turn the other way and ignore it? Does choosing one option or the other define who you are as a person? Would blowing the whistle create more tension in the office or alleviate it? What happens if it falls on deaf ears because you have blown the whistle too many times and people stop listening to you (think Red Riding Hood). What happens to your reputation and/or credibility then? Is it worth you putting your neck out based solely on principle? Or do you just suck it up and focus on the work in front of you while others abuse the good graces of those who do all the work?
I like to fight for the underdog. I practice what I preach - well, most of the time. I want the morale within the company I work for to be positive and everyone as happy as they can be. Big task, but I do what I can to achieve harmony in the workplace. So you bad apples - be forewarned. People are watching. They are aware. If you are being paid to do a certain job - do it. With everything you have in you. Give people the opportunity to be proud of what you do instead of cursing you behind the scenes. If we all carry a certain level of work ethics with us wherever we go, the world would be a much better place for it.