I just want security and great pay

I’m reviewing tons of coaching requests today – trying to catch up and make the appropriate referrals.  In the information profiles I saw things like this:

I have been a professional interior designer for 29 years, since I got out of college.  ….. There are NO, repeat NO interior design opportunities in Miami, Florida…… Interior design is a luxury.  It is the first thing to go in a market like this.

And this:

I work as a waiter/bartender with uncertain and varying hours. I make minimum wage plus tips. I grabbed the first job I could get because of the economic conditions in our area. I do this job to keep the lights on and food on the coffee table, nothing more.

So I took a break for lunch.  First I stopped at the post office.  In leaving I said to the guy behind the counter, “Have a great day.”  He replied, “I would but I have to stay here.”  My next stop was Home Depot.  When I got to the check-out I cheerfully asked the gentleman there, “How’s your day going?”  He responded quickly, “It’ll be great in about 4 hours.”

How can any of these people expect to be at their best?  To be seen as making a valuable contribution to those organizations?  Yet I also see that the guy who took the job to keep the lights on, nothing more, saying:  “I want to see my hard work pay off quickly and get me promoted/noticed in weeks or months, not years. I like to see results right away.”

Now I’m going to go jump in my Mercedes for a little spin.  I think I’ll even put the top down because I deserve the best it can offer.  If it fires right up and gives me a thrilling ride, then I may decide to put a little gas in the tank – but not before.  It’s the American way.

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11 Responses to “I just want security and great pay”

  1. Kay Martin Says:

    Love this!!! I’m having a great work experience in Census 2010. I’m supervising 20 folks who NEED a job. I’ve given my best to each of them as individuals and we’ve come together as a strong team. We’ve surpassed every goal we were required to meet. I’m convinced I released the “sorta’s” and we now have only the motivated workers that have been without money and work long enough to truly appreciate the privilege of working in something bigger than themslelves. Getting the paycheck is ciritical, but the significance of their work is blessing them also. I’m encouraged by this team. The 4 letter word: WORK can be a good thing.

  2. Andy Traub Says:

    Dan, great works brother. EVERY day I run into people who HATE their jobs and I live in a community where you can still find a new job if you want one. The true is, and you said it in your great post, great jobs don’t exist with out great people doing them. I’ve met some GREAT cashiers in my life and I know people in all types of business that thrive because they assume their success and then make it happen. Thanks for reminding me that success isn’t behind the gray stuff on a lottery ticket, it starts between my ears and ends up coming out of my mouth. I can make success.

  3. Janice Says:

    To the Miami designer. You are naturally creative and naturally think out of the box with balance, scale, color, light, & texture to make your jobs work for the affluent. Make those talents work for yourself. Interior designers are certainly a luxury if you market yourself to the affluent. But there are those who NEED a designer to help them with their color choices, space planning. Don’t you have a condo/vacation rental market there? Many of the owners live in New York or Minnesota and cant do the upgrades for themselves as they don’t know the local suppliers. You Do. Adapt
    Connect witht he condo managers and housekeepping executives. They are full of resources with money to spend.

    The affluent aren’t the only ones who like nice surroundings. Move over to those who don’t have so much money to spend but still want the ambiance of something better than what they have.
    Use your time and talents volunteering. Tap your affluent resources to get their hand me downs or better yet their money, to donate to those less fortuate.
    Does the Cancer Society or Kidney Foundation have outlets there? How about the Humane Society??
    Start thinking of others and your dance card will fill up in a jiffy.

  4. Tim Says:

    I thought the Mercedes mention at the bottom of the post was a little over the top and pretty close to what a jerk would say. I have been one of those people who are unhappy at work and it’s a vicious cycle. We can’t all be doing what we want to do for a living all the time. We do have bills to pay and sometimes regular people have to take whatever job is available at the time. And, sometimes a job is just a job. Very often work environments are toxic and it is rational to not be motivated to give our employers our best. Often in this life we are in the place before we learn how to make lemonade out of lemons and the last thing we need is some pompous ass talking about his expensive luxury vehicle.

  5. Dan Miller Says:

    Yes – I used the Mercedes analogy to exaggerate the feeling of entitlement that I see so much of today. People who want the very best – guaranteed pay, health benefits, extended vacations, retirement assurances and a company car. Then they show up late, do shoddy work and scream unfair when threatened with removal. If you’re unhappy, nobody wins. Find something else. There are too many options to continue the misery.

  6. Gary Sheets Says:

    Don’t make too many assumptions about what those people may have meant. The fellow who told you he would be better in 4 hours could be waiting to get off work to see the love of his life or “I would but I have to stay here” is only keeping that job so his dying wife will have medical coverage. Everyone has a story and many Americans take jobs they don’t love because thats whats available to fill their needs. In a perfect world we should all be doing what we love most, but then for myself that would not be work.
    By the way, the fellow in Detroit who loved building American cars and loved what he did would like to thank you for buying your Mercedes.
    The American way doesn’t work…we need to find new ways to keep our country great. Driving around with aimlessly with the top down isn’t what we need.

  7. Joe Green Says:

    In my opinion Dan’s point isn’t to say that everyone should have the perfect job, but rather that if you want to have a great job with great benefits you need to start with being great at what you do. If you’re acting mediocre why would you expect anything but a mediocre job? You won’t get far if you wait for your job to be perfect before you become a good worker.

  8. Jim Thompson Says:

    I love to work and feel it is healthy for people to work. God expects us to do the best for those who employ us regardless if they have let us down or not live up to what they have pomised. I find myself looking for work the second time in the last 18 months after being in very difficult situations and doing my best working within the guidelines of the job. It is sad an traject to learn that just because I was greatul for the job and enjoyed what I was doing they had to cut cost by eliminating me on the 5th round of layoffs. I am pleased that I improved things a lot and made an impact regardless if they ever know about it or would ever admit it. Although I was not appreciated for putting in 16 to 18 hours minimum daily on a salary job, I did what I believe was right and tried o treat other and my works with respect. No one can take away the the fact that I put in a tremendous effort, had a great work ethic, and did things as smart as I could. I am greatful that I had the opportunity and I look forward to using this experience to find something that God has in store for me that is better. Hopefully, it is something that has more balance and where I don’t have to give up weekends all the time giving me more time to spend with the Lord. Jerm 26:11 says that He knows the things He has planned for us and we have a purpose and a hope. My task now is to find that and go for it. I am standing on faith the He will supply all my need according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. I wish all those who read my addition to this post adbunance and blessings. Meanwhile, I am going back to searching for the best opportunities that I can find and look forard to also have a successful business of my own where I can give back and help others while finding a degree of finacnial independence of my own.

  9. JAD Says:

    I hope the arrogance in Dan’s entry was tongue-in-cheek. In a cutthroat economy-society like ours, a strong work ethic and positive attitude can definitely take one far, but not necessarily save one’s job (for, really, almost any reason). Take a look at teachers and schools for a glaring example. And, just because non-traditional opportunities exist to earn income doesn’t mean that one should immediately pursue them.

    Why can’t we all just make Widgets???????

  10. Greg M Says:

    RE: Jim Thompson Says:

    June 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I am no stranger to the people who comment that they can’t wait till friday or 2 more hours and I’ll be alot better. After being let go after 15 years in a manufacturing postion. Having applying for jobs at less than a third of what I used to make , working a temp job for the holidays. I also have a daughter who just started college in the fall and after a huge loss of income,I am not in an area where jobs are plentiful ie; Southeastern Michigan. I still keep the Lord 1st in my life and am thankful for even the hardships. May the Lord help you to find peace and serenity in any opportunity he provides for you and me. 🙂

  11. altz Says:

    I’ve always been shocked by comments like that. Even shocked by things I’ve heard from management in a store. There is this store close to my job that I actually made a commitment to buying something from (even if very little) every payday, because I appreciated the fact that they were there. I appreciated their product and I new that it wasn’t mainstream and much in the store is considered luxury. I wanted to support the business, to make sure it stayed in business.

    One day I heard a supervisor berating the employee. I’m not saying that the employee didn’t have it coming, but keep it away from the customers. In my opinion that was just as unprofessional as the guy saying he’d rather not be there, and it ultimately led to my reducing visits to the store and I have bought little from them since, because every time I visited that memory came to mind. So, I definitely sympathize with the “worker,” but in any environment or job professionalism is key to promoting the company.

    I have felt the same way as these workers on many occasions, not being a stranger to entry-level positions, but I’m always shocked when I heard it actually come out of someones mouth. How can anyone would expect to keep a job with the kind of attitude that is expressed with those statements. Even if the manager doesn’t hear them say it, it promotes a less than professional image of the store and can affect future sales and subsequently job security.

    “I’d rather be fishing” is a sentiment that might be o.k. for license plates…but not a lot of other places.

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