How To Succeed in Business By Simply Trying

I am a worker. I was raised by workers. I believe in working hard for your pay, going the extra mile, doing something that needs to done even if it isn't your responsibility. I'm no genius. I'm not especially talented or highly educated, at least in terms of formal education. But, in every job that I have ever had, I have rather quickly moved up to higher positions of authority and responsibility, often passing by senior co-workers. I am not writing this brag about myself but simply to make a point. The point is that I advanced by simply trying. 

That is all it really takes in many cases in today's workplace. Work hard. Do a little extra. pay attention to details. Be honest and dependable. Do your job. 

I was raised to believe all of this was a given. It didn't need explanation. Unfortunately, that is not true. Fortunately, for those few who do hold these ideals, it is an opportunity.

One might expect two things in the workplace:

1. The simple assumptions above that your employer is paying you to do a  job, in an honest and competent manner, at a certain time, for a certain number of hours every day.

2. A reasonably intelligent person might expect other people in general to be of an average intelligence roughly equal to your own. 

Wrong on both counts. 

Look around you. Look at the average worker, especially in entry level jobs. Notice the lethargic, unenergetic, apathetic attitude of the workers. Notice the lack of social skills, courtesy, language skills, and attention. Think about how anyone who actually acts like they know what they are doing, and wants to do it, would stand out. Now you're getting the picture.

Retail establishments and fast food restaurants are glaring examples of the sorry state of today's workforce. So many of today's workers have an attitude that they are doing you a favor by showing up and collecting their pay. Expecting them to actually work for any continuous amount of time is really asking too much. How many times have you experienced a store clerk who seemed annoyed that they had to interrupt their conversation with a co-"worker" about last night's date to take your order or your money.

Take, for example, the fast food drive-through clerk whose only job all day is to listen to you and enter your order into a pre-programmed, automated cash register. Have your ever had your order screwed up? If your experiences are like mine, probably as often as not they got it wrong. And while we're on the pre-programmed, automated cash register, I have seen two occasions where the machine was not working and the high school or college age clerk had absolutely no idea how to make change without the machine telling them how much change was due.

Wake up people! Can't you make the connection that if your business fails, you fail. Look at McDonalds, the legendary giant of fast food. They once had the reputation of being the bench mark of consistency, efficiency and service. McDonalds stock is down to about a third of what it was two years ago because business has fallen off dramatically. Now look at the workers. See a connection? 

Forget the commercials where the cheery smiling clerk hands you your meticulously prepared meal and says "Thank you". In the real world, they hand you some thrown-together slop, that may or may not be what you ordered, and often don't say a single word to you, the customer, when they take your money. Wouldn't you rather spend your money, perhaps even a little more money, someplace where you felt your business was appreciated  you have some confidence that you are going to get what was advertised?

This is not just an entry level problem. Much of this would not happen if a competent manager was present. When a company representative can't even give a smile or say "Thank you" for your patronage, it is not only the failing of the employee but also a major failing of the manager. Either the manager does not know how his or her employees are performing, doesn't care, or doesn't know any better. Any of these is inexcusable and the manager should be out the door right behind the employee.

The whole point is to do the best job you can, regardless of what the job is or how much it pays. Don't buy into the attitude of "I'll do more when they pay me more". That's bull___. The way to make more money is to make yourself more valuable. It's easy to rise above the average worker today. Do a better job and people will notice. Trust me on this one. If you find that you simply cannot be pleasant and represent your company in a positive manner, do yourself,  your company, and your customers a favor and move on.

Think about it. Good luck.

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