Have you ever worked in a job where you felt like the Energizer Bunny, Superman and James Brown rolled into one. You know what I mean, like you’re the hardest working person in your company always willing to leap tall inboxes in a single bound?
If you’re like many of the people who write to me, the only problem is that the people you work with seem to be a combination of Homer Simpson, Eddie Haskell and Rip Van Winkle. We’re not just talking about your co-workers here, often your boss seems to care less about work than you do.
Well I have a simple rule, you shouldn’t care more, or work harder or be more patriotic about work than the person who signs your paychecks.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. If everyone felt this way then our productivity would just go down the drain.
Maybe. But at least you won’t be losing sleep over a job where the mucky-mucks are sleeping like babies.
Another way to look at this is that if the world were metal chain, then your standard of work should be equal to the weakest link.
Am I saying that we should all strive for mediocrity?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying if the bosses themselves don’t care about how things are done. If you feel like you’re working in an episode of the Jersey Shore, then it’s probably time for you to either mentally check out or find a new job. One where the leaders are actually interested in creating an environment where people are rewarded for working hard and where the leadership models this behavior.
To quote Charles DeGaulle, “The graveyard is full of indispensable men.”
That’s the problem. So many people are sweating, losing sleep and worrying when the people above them don’t share this level of passion, commitment or engagement. We should have a Surgeon General’s report on how dangerous this is to your health. Because it is. Not only for you, but for all the people who love you away from the job.
If during the 60’s the phrase was “tune in, turn on, drop out,” then the phrase for anyone struggling in a job where you seem to care more than your boss, the mantra should be, “tune out, turn away, get out.” Even if you can’t get out physically at least you can check out mentally, and maybe even physically.
Caring at work is great, but only when it’s supported by the powers that be.
About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.