Public dis-service

It never ceases to amaze me just how many people serve the public who are inappropriate for their jobs.

They act as the front lines for their organizations yet represent these organizations in the worst possible light.

They clearly find customers to be annoyances at best and best avoided when possible.

And one sees this in almost every profession where interaction with others is a necessity, whether it be in gastronomy or tourism, government or private sectors, business or entertainment, or in any profession where the good graces and regular custom of others is crucial to the survival of the enterprise.

Granted in the West there is a mindset that exists where the rich expect to be favoured more than the poor because their money makes the servant’s sustenance more possible, but even at these rarified heights can one still find “attitude” amongst those that serve.

It is this “attitude” I have never quite understood, for it is most illogical to “bite the hand that feeds you”.

But visit any government office, for example, and you are treated like horse droppings on a white tablecloth…most unwelcome.

An argument often given to explain this “attitude” is: there is no incentive for the servant to be courteous, as the profits his labor creates don’t benefit him directly.

Even in my home and native land of Canada, one of the most polite societies on the planet, customer service just ain’t what it used to be.

“Please” and “thank you”?

What strange words you utilise!

In Quebec, for the past few decades, tipping is automatically included and expected in a restaurant, regardless of the quality of the service.

Now I know working with customers is not always easy.

I recognize these problems in both my money-generating professions of teacher and barrista, but I firmly believe if the job description entails “public” service, then, as a person who takes pride in how he presents himself to the world, the service person should do his best to give the best possible service he can, a “doing unto others what he would like done to himself”.

He should do this, not because there may be immediate gain from doing so, but rather as a professional whose reputation as a valued member of society is important.

And that is the key word: value.

If I am going to spend time and money, both scarce commodities in limited supply, then I want to know that you are doing your best to earn this time, money and faith in your abilities.

We spend 80% of our adult lives working, yet so many people give less than 20% of their energy and enthusiasm into their jobs.

If you are doing a job you hate, then why are you wasting your time?

At the earliest opportunity, do yourself and everyone a favor and find a job you love instead.

Of the half-dozen tours we took in Sardinia, for example, only one guide showed any real enthusiasm for her job.

When you do what you love, your passion shines through and almost instinctively you produce – quality – , which leads to success, however you define it.

If you are not in your dream job at this moment, then leave behind a reputation of good solid work that you can point to with pride.

Just a dishwasher?

Then be the best dishwasher you can be.

Take pride in everything you do.

For myself, living as an ex-pat in Switzerland, I constantly tell myself that as the sole Canadian my co-workers know or my customers meet, I, in my own humble condition, am a walking embassy, an ambassador for my home and native land.

If the only Canadian people meet is me, then I don’t want to let my fellow Canadians down.

Your folks gave you a name.

Bring pride to that name, both for their sake and your own.

Want respect and love and reward?

Deserve it.

Not as a matter of course for your mere existence, but because you earned it.

Now I know that there are some folks in their present positions because of not WHAT they know but rather WHO they know.

But now that you got the job through networking rather than talent or qualifications, can you then prove yourself as a person who is worthy of that job?

So, you say you are worthy?

Prove it.


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