This Job Doesn’t Define You.

I made an observation the other day at work.

Sometimes as you go through life and have experienced a number of years, you see someone making the exact same mistake that you made years ago.

When you see this happening you want to grab that person and say “Hey, stop it, I did the exact same thing and expected the exact same results you are expecting, but it’s not going to turn out like you planned.”

But I have learned to just save my breath.  You know they will just look at you like who are you and what do you know about anything.

Maybe it’s more like, that’s nice old man but this is the next generation and we’re smarter than you’ll ever be.  You just don’t understand and you just don’t see the “big” picture.

At which point you step aside and say walking right off the cliff young man.

So I just keep my mouth shut, observe and continue to learn.

What I saw the other day at work I had done on many occasions throughout my career.

A manager had scheduled off an entire week, but on Tuesday and Wednesday there they were at their desk working.

Believe me I empathized with what they are going through.

The second you decide to take a day off the subordinates and higher ups all decide what a great time to tinker with or better yet screw up your department.  It’s also an opened invitation for your customer to have a crisis; you know the crisis you warned them about for the past month if they didn’t take action.

I’ve been through it and was dumb enough to come in and straighten out the messes so I could try to enjoy what was left of my vacation.

And I remember the drive into work the first day back from my vacation.  I would be wondering and fretting over what horrors awaited me.  Plus I knew no one was going to pick up the slack while I was gone.  You had to hit the ground running while trying to play catch up all at the same time.

Why did I do it and why do these current managers do it?

You take pride in your work.  It’s your department and if it falls apart it’s your problem even if some other meddling manager screwed it up.

And you want to please the bosses, the owners.  You hope or I should say you expect to see financial rewards for this loyalty. You’re expecting it to be more that just being able to keep your job with a minor increase for cost of living in your salary.

You are giving the company the kind of loyalty you would if the company was yours. You are giving the kind of loyalty where you put in entrepreneurial type hours, 60, 70 even 80 hours a week, working weekends and holidays.

The kind of loyalty where you’re thinking about a piece, a very small piece but maybe a piece of the sales or dare I say a piece of the business.

But that is something you will never see.  That is reserved for a special few.

The loyalty is appreciated from the aspect of “thanks for making us a lot of money, here’s a small token of our appreciation.”

But when the tide turns as is inevitable and the chips are down the appreciation turns into threats.  Your job and livelihood is threatened.

All those hours of missed time with the family, missed hours of rest and relaxation got you this, your job being threatened.

So I just want to grab these managers and say, “This job doesn’t define you, it’s not worth it, relax and go home!  There will be other jobs but you have only one life!”

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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