Recently I paid a visit to my local city hall to apply for a local business license. Like most government buildings, the place had a musty, old feeling to it, like an old 1950's post office. And, like the building, the government workers inside were as musty as the building itself. As I asked for details about the business forms (what to fill out, where to send them, etc), the lady behind the counter -- typical, office worker type woman, with horned-rimmed glasses and a wad of chewing gum in her mouth -- pointed me to a bin of blank business license applications, and snidely tossed a remark at me.
"Don't come back until after you've filled one of those out completely" she blurted as she walked away, sat down at her desk, and got back to her Yahoo surfing session. Supposedly this woman was a "city business license coordinator", but to me she was just worthless. It was clear to me that this person had probably been with the city for years and years, and just didn't give a damn about her job. Maybe it was due to office politics, maybe it was indifference, but in any case, it left me with a negative impression of herself and the city. She just blended in with the rest of the red tape and bureaucracy, and really couldn't care less about it.
Sure, the job market isn't exactly teeming with openings, and the economy makes finding a job difficult. But how many of you show up to work each day, and don't care about what you're doing or how you treat people? Do you hate your job so much, that you would treat people around or below you with disrespect or indifference? Do you just not give a damn?
In my "quest" to get people to wake up and leverage their skills to improve their job outlook, I try to get folks to not become complacent about their careers. So it irks me to no end how many people stick with the same crappy, go-nowhere job, just to find a sense of stability. As much as I admire people who are cheerful after 20 years working at Trader Joe's, it irritates me when other people who have spent 20 years at a government job treat people like trash just because they hate what they do for a living.
Give yourself and everyone else in the world a break, and find a new line of work -- please.
The world has enough tasks and challenges, without people actively making things more difficult. As human beings, we are inherently driven to make things better for ourselves (though sometimes those efforts go awry -- think of greenhouse gasses and radioactive waste). But the sense that we should improve life should extend into our careers. Just because jobs are associated with money doesn't mean that we toss aside our sense of good will because "we're getting paid". I suppose this speaks to the larger issue of business negating morality -- like a city taking away it's community soccer field to build a billion dollar stadium.
But I digress.
Can you take the time and effort to treat people the way you'd like to be treated at work? To put "professionalism" back into your profession? To not communicate your hatred of your job to the people you interact with? To put aside politics and just do what's good for others? As much as it is harder to be nice than to be honest, take the time to find out what you dislike about your job. Spend effort to try and improve your job, instead of shoveling your problems onto others.
At the end of the day, a job is just a job... and I'm still here trying to fill out this damn form.
... thanks coordinator lady, for all of your help.