home working set up, two monitors, laptop, printer, lots of mess, water bottle and jumper
Politics & Equality, Work

Work Ethic and Respect

So this has been bugging me the last few days. There are two things intertwined in my head and I’ve not quite figured out what I think.

The first is about respecting and crediting our colleagues. When someone contributes to something, make sure the team or the people who benefit know about it. Please! I make a particular effort to do this and I know I appreciate it when someone does it for me. If you are the subject of such acknowledgement have the good grace to accept it. Don’t be an arse and complain that someone (me) is trying to make it sound like you’re responsible for something in case it goes wrong or god forbid, people start asking you to do your job!

So that’s credit. Now respect. What does it mean when a very long standing colleague fails to turn up to meetings that they scheduled? FFS When they know you’re really busy and you’re trying to help them learn a new technique. My interpretation, now after the third occasion in 2 months, is that he has no respect for me or value for my time.

The flip side of this is work ethic. And here things get a little delicate. I saw a TED talk recently (I’ll try to refind it and add a link) about how ethnic minorities (in USA) define their self-worth. In the speaker’s case his list was: porn, social media, gaming, and work. The way he spoke, work was like an addiction. He got positive feedback from putting in loads of effort and going the extra mile – whether it’s appreciated or not. I suspect that applies to all “minorities”. I pride myself on doing the best job I can, being thorough, paying attention to what’s going on, sharing information between groups. For me, that’s just normal. But that TED talk made me question whether work plays too great a part in how I define myself and value myself.

Going back to respect and credit. The guy who missed the meeting (again) has zero work ethic, and doesn’t appear to have respect for mine. He’s the opposite of a minority too.

So here’s the question. The minorities who work so hard (possibly unhealthily so), who are unappreciated by the privileged lazy arses: why do we it?

My work wife and I are both trying really hard to stop doing those unappreciated, unpaid, not part of our annual review, extras. Whenever we resist the temptation to fix a thing, or tell someone the answer, we celebrate. It can be like an addiction, and giving it up is hard.

Here’s that video: https://www.facebook.com/112060638857663/posts/2434689086594795/?sfnsn=cl

1 thought on “Work Ethic and Respect”

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