Wandering Work Ethic

Ever since I was little, I can remember my parents instilling a strong work ethic in me.  When I would come home from kindergarten, they would review the alphabet with me.  As I got older, they helped me study for dreaded finals.

But I believe that I learned the most simply by watching my parents.  Even when my Mom feels like she is dying, she NEVER calls in sick.  She takes over the counter medicine and heads to the classroom.  Not only does she feel that it is her responsibility to show up to work, she knows how important consistency is for her students.  They count on my Mom to teach them the necessary skills to grow and become successful adults.  And my Mom does not take her job lightly.

My Dad is constantly taking on more projects at his job.  Often times, he would work overtime and not come home until very late in the evening.  He even had to miss a few holiday events because of emergencies.  And all the while, he treats everyone with respect and courtesy.  His office is known for being free of “potty mouth” language, a rarity in the world today.  He is dedicated to bringing quality service to everyone and never “calls in” leaving the work for others to do.

However, I am noticing more and more that people simply do not have any work ethic to speak of.  And this issue does not just lie with my generation.  While I agree that many “younger” people simply do not care about their job performance, I have seen a great number of older adults exhibiting the same behavior.  Fellow co-workers are surfing Facebook and twitter during company time.  Some are even going as far as shopping online.

What disturbs me the most is a conversation that I heard from an ex-co-worker.  This person was talking about the fact that her daughter was training another person at her job and refused to call in to go to a dentist appointment that her mother had set up for her.  The woman then said, “I don’t see why it’s so important.  I mean, she’s going to quit this job someday anyway.  Her work ethic is so cute.” 

Cute?  Really?  I would call it responsible and quite refreshing.  I believe that this woman could learn a lot from watching her daughter.  While she knows that she is not going to be at her current job forever, she is taking pride in the job that she is doing and wants to help other new employee flourish.  That is the way that the work world should be.

If I had no work ethic, not only would I be letting myself down, but my parents and husband as well.  I want my family to be proud of me.  And I believe that working my hardest at whatever job I am in is the way to do it.



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6 responses to “Wandering Work Ethic

  1. Don’t get e wrong I’m all for people having a good ‘work ethic’ if you are lucky enough these days to get a job to start with and to be able to keep it. However – work is not the b all and end all of life – you should work to live not live to work in my opinion as life is so precious and short! But also, so many employers these days exploit and make their workers lives hell – it is hard for people to put their all into their work if they are unhappy! So while I can appreciate what you are saying – everyone is different and their experiences of life and the work place are very different so…yeah!

    • Laura,

      Thanks for the comment! I totally agree! I have worked in both types of situations: one where the company treats their employees like royalty and ones where the employee is treated more like a slave.

      I agree that work should not be someone’s whole life. That is no way to live for sure! And I enjoy volunteering and wish that I had more time to do it.

      The sad thing is, we as workers tend to settle for less then ideal jobs because, well, some of us have to. I know that my husband and I would be sunk if we didn’t both have jobs. It just frustrates me to see people in the cushy jobs not working.

      Thanks for your input! I appreciate it!

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