Some people do not like where they work… at all. They may even hate who they report to. And because their work environment is indeed”poisonous”, they choose to withhold their very best quality of work. “THIS PLACE does not deserve the best I have to offer. I will come to work, just do what is expected of me, collect my paycheck, and go home.” Do you know anyone like this?
The issue with this line of thinking is that if you repeatedly choose to provide the bare minimum, then finally you will be comfortable giving the bare minimum. Yes, you would have unknowingly formed not only a habit, but a bad habit. Sooner or later, you might not even know what excellent work resembles… and begin to think that you are not capable of being excellent. To be excellent is what you are called to be, and to be exceptional is exactly what you’re called to.
Since it was a limited service hotel, ordering room service wasn’t an option. It had been around 11PM, and I called the front desk to see where I could possibly get some tea from. The employee explained,”Our restaurant has already closed, so tea will be available in the morning for breakfast”. Click.
Now, I obviously knew that tea and hot water had to be accessible somewhere on the property, but I chose to wait and speak to the manager in the morning. When I spoke with the manager the next morning, he was upset about what happened and even showed me the worker mini-break area that was just a couple feet behind the front desk. The rest area had a fridge, and the refrigerator was stacked with… wait for it… tea! All types of tea.
Here are a few reasons why the front desk agent may have reacted the way he did:
A) He legitimately did not know there was tea available (yeah right).
B) He is only comfortable working within the strict parameters of his job.
C) He does not like his job where he works and has chosen not to do one more ounce than he absolutely has to.
You can’t allow anyone (or any work environment) to rob you of your zeal to be exceptional. As difficult as it could be, you have to push through any disdain that you might have and honor your role, honor who you are serving and honor yourself. At some point, each individual must make a decision about how exceptional he/she wants to be, regardless of the work environment. Eventually, it can be very fatiguing to continuously strive for excellence in a work environment that you can not stand to be in.
If that’s the case, see if you can address your discontentment with the proper individuals, or find somewhere else to work. But don’t just find”any place” to work. Search for a company that has values which mirror your own.Ultimately, it’s important to work for a company that you believe in.
Fixing Your Service
Some people have a habit of adjusting their service based on how important they think a specific customer is. One reason that is so dangerous is because you never know who you are serving or what their circumstances may be. We have no right to treat anyone like they are”a client”. Every client has a story and it is our obligation to honor that client whatever the story may be.
Never again be lulled into the fallacy that it is OK to provide the bare minimum. Savagely fight that fallacy with all you’ve got. Be exceptional despite the work environment. Stephen Covey wisely wrote, “Be an island of excellence in a sea of mediocrity”. While that certainly can happen, try to discover a team, manager and business that allow you to work one of many islands of excellence in an ocean happy to have you there.
In the long run, service has a purpose, and a noble goal in that. We serve because functioning is a fantastic thing, and great things are worthy to be exalted. There’s value to your role. There’s purpose to your role. If you truly understand what that means, then you have the ability to impact lives, one client at a time.