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
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
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
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
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.