29 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You a Question – 10/29/18

  1. As an HR professional, who handled 300+, for 3 companies, a former staffing coordinator and current senior server (at my 2nd job) a resounding YES!!!!!!!!!!! I believe part of it is the younger generation (with some exceptions) haven’t been taught the value of doing a job and doing it well; regardless of the position.

    I also place a part of the blame on the companies because the days of working 20+ years or even to retiring from a company are becoming a thing of the past. Companies don’t invest in their employees as they once did. They don’t give employees a reason to want to stay. Many do not promote from within and job-hopping is all too common. Five years with one company, by today’s standards, is a long time.

    I have seen people text that they aren’t coming in or even texting that they quit. There’s no responsibility or accountability in that. They don’t understand their inability to show up on time or their last minute decision to call out puts their work onto their rest of the their coworkers.

    Teens aren’t looking to work and expect their parents to support them. It falls into the entitlement era. My tween knows at 16 she gets a job or she’s not going to have the “extras” she wants. She knows she must earn half of her first car or she gets whatever we grace her with; if that’s an option.

    I’m looked at as a very mean mother for insisting on these rules. However, I am the one who hates even taking time off work for oncology appointments because I’m not able to work remotely now; where I once was able to. I believe in integrity and accountability and they go hand in hand with a strong work ethic.

    1. You summed it up quite well. I couldn’t agree more.
      I know of people who text they will not be coming in, or call the supervisor’s office phone in the middle of the night to leave a voice mail. Just so they don’t have to actually talk to someone and answer questions.

    2. I like all of your comment. I do agree that companies do not invest in their people too. It is tough today to find a company that doesn’t view you as a number.

  2. I came here to say “HELL YES!”, but then, I stopped, thinking of those people who argue with my points of view on various topics. They keep telling me that my experience is not their own. For some reason I have the most negative experiences with people, while they only have the good ones (or the bad ones are sparse).

    However, I was so glad to see that those people who already commented said: “Yes”. Maybe my perception isn’t that skewed after all?

    Lynn summed it up very nicely.

    1. I don’t see the younger generations working hard. There has definitely been a shift in defining “hard work”. Maybe it is a generational thing.

      1. There are some good eggs in the “younger generation”. I’m not sure what to attribute the shift to. Maybe just cultural changes, ethics, etc. Things that were learned at home/ in school. Values.

  3. It seems, from the comments so far, that it is alive and well in your readers, but they don’t see it in a lot of others. Lynn’s observations about the employer side of the problem are an important part of it. It is hard for people to feel a commitment to the job when they are seen as infinitely replaceable and expendable. But then, there are the many who are working 60-80 hour weeks and taking calls and texts from their boss at all hours and whatever they may be doing on their “time off”. That is burnout territory. And, if you want to see a work ethic in action, watch immigrants, legal and otherwise. Those who cross borders, deserts, oceans, and leave behind everything they have ever known to find work, any work, or to start a small business from nothing, they have the work ethic.

    1. Evelina is from Poland and she talks about this all the time. Her view is that Americans are lazy and lack the mindset of sacrifice.

  4. Not lost but evolving. I’d be the same type A over achieving work horse even if I was a millennial. Work ethic can be learned sure but mine is hard coded in my DNA.

      1. When I hear the word “evolve” I think of it in terms of getting better. I just don’t see things getting better as it relates to work ethic. With that said, things are definitely changing.

  5. This is a frequent topic of discussion among my fellow business professionals of ‘a certain age’. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I see this every day. Younger people entering the professional world seem to desire instant gratification based on their education and are not as willing to pay their dues as I was when I started out int he working world. They’re more concerned with networking and meeting the right people that can advance their career more quickly. Perhaps, with some justification, they do not exhibit loyalty toward companies that hire them. I often find myself at work much earlier and staying much later than many of my less experienced colleagues. Part of my work ethic stems from growing up with parents that went through the Great Depression. My dad worked two full-time blue collar jobs and always ingrained in me the importance of education and hard work that was focused on avoiding the same career path that he had.

    1. Don, it does seem that our society is experiencing a shift in views about work. I’m not sure what the end result will be, but I am certain it will be quite different than what I grew up with.

  6. I think that this is a two part answer. I do see that people aren’t proud of their work anymore but I also see that people don’t feel the need to give their all for a company that shows no loyalty to them. Gone are the date that you knew you had some job security and healthy benefits, union coverage and a pension coming from your job. Lots of companies have busted unions, not given raises with the comparable with cost of inflation, moved their headquarters overseas. We’re still arguing about a livable wage, can’t get single payer insurance, childcare, maternity leave, and one percent of jobs have an active union. Why would I do extra for a company that continues to show me that I don’t matter to them? Especially, when this is available in most other countries around the world. Gone are the days of having a great job at Ford and knowing that you’ll be able to retire comfortably and send your kids to college debt free, the shift was gradual but if the CEO is making 3000 times my salary, I think you’ve got your answer.

    1. To me, these all sound like excuses. I work for a large corporation exactly as you have described in your comment, but none of that influences my personal responsibility to myself in doing the best job to represent my work ethic. All of the things you mentioned may very well be true, but ultimately I make the decision to work hard for me, no one else. If a person works for a corporation and they do not want to “do extra” then they can always work for themselves and build their own dream. But, in my opinion, I work for myself even when working for the company. My work ethic is a refection on me.

      1. I’ve worked for a company where the morale was shit because we were consistently being undercut and the atmosphere was one of uncertainty. You worked hard to please the immediate supervisors and the district managers without a good job or thank you, then cut in benefits and commission, it doesn’t make for charging someone up to meet quotas. Your experience is obviously different than most. Because this is what most hourly workers are going through. Leaning on food stamps while working full time isn’t a place to expect a chirped attitude. Thank goodness that I didn’t get that far in that job but I got close enough even with working overtime to cover for people who you aren’t a second thought to and it’s taken for weakness. The reasons don’t have to valid to you specifically for them to be valid. We all have different experiences.

  7. In between grocery shopping and soccer practice we stopped for lunch. The people behind the sandwich shop counter included two women. One busily working and the other older woman complaining she needed a cigarette break. Unfortunately she made my sandwich. It was a slapped on mess.

    Clerks on personal phone calls while people are standing in line waiting is a pet peeve of mine. My thing is, you’re being paid to do a job so do it!

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