Friday, September 24, 2010

Show yourself some respect

I got really annoyed by our school bus driver's total apathy the other day and tweeted:

EVERY JOB is a vital part of a healthy community. Show some respect for yourself and do your best no matter what you do.

Since then, I've been keenly aware for some reason of the jobs around me and how people do them.  I've worked in service type jobs- hot food counter at the grocery store, underwear department at a department store, etc- and I've always prided myself in doing the best job possible.  Is it a career?  No.  But it's a privilege to have a job-any job-at all.  

When you treat your job, whatever it is, like it doesn't matter, you aren't just failing to respect your job or your boss or place of employment.  You are failing to respect yourself. You are failing to respect the abundant opportunities we have in this country.  Even in times where the economy is bad and unemployment is high, we are still way more we off than much of the world's population.  Not just that, you are failing to respect your community and the people around you.  We need people to serve food, collect garbage, clean home and places of business, etc. These are all highly valuable positions in our communities and when the people doing these jobs stop taking them seriously and treating them like they matter, the entire community suffers.  

We all have rough days at work.  I get it.  I've been there, done that.  I managed a small retail store for a while.  I've had days where I wanted to slap the next customer who so much as looked like they might complain.  It was a thankless job that didn't pay much of anything.   I hated it.  I had a string of bad district managers, lazy employees, demanding, whiny customers, the company itself was a nightmare and I was expected to do more work than was humanly possible in 40 hours a week. But I still prided myself in making every effort to make it the best looking store in the mall and to deliver the friendliest customer service possible at all times.  Why?  It was my job.  Someone has to pierce little kids' ears and sell belts to pre-teens. If I was stuck doing that crappy job, I was going to do it better than anyone ever had. 

 It's the people who do their very best at everything, who give their all to every responsibility they have that go far in life.  When we try to pick and choose and only give our energies fully to the chores and commitments we like, we deny ourselves respect.  When we treat a job/chore we've been given as if it doesn't matter, it seriously affects our self-confidence and self-respect. 

I have to ask myself, "Am I doing the best job possible at everything I do?" Even when it's not a job, am I making the most of my responsibilities and commitments and doing them justice or am I short-changing myself and slacking off?

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