That’s not my job

15 Dec 2010 | written by Dan Garfield for the Small Business Tips section(s)

That's not my job

How often have you been in a restaurant or other business and point a problem out to one of the employees only to get rolled eyes and a “That’s not my job.” I’ve seen this a surprising number of times when pointing out a messy bathroom, a broken display or any number of other issues a business might be having.

This is what you call an attitude problem.

If you’re there it’s your problem

Every employee must understand that by working somewhere they represent that place of business. That means that they have to be ready to help out whenever called on and they should be ready to fix problems anytime they see them.

During the US revolutionary war General Putnam taught a valuable lesson on responsibility. Here’s an excerpt from David McCullough’s 1776.

On one occasion,surveying the work on defenses by horseback, [General] Putnam paused to ask a soldier to throw a large rock in the path up onto the parapet. “Sir, I am a corporal,” the soldier protested. “Oh, I ask your pardon, sir,” said the general, who dismounted and threw the rock himself, to the delight of all present.

It doesn’t matter your position or your level of responsibility, when a job is to be done step up and do it. Train your employees to have this mentality.

Common decency doesn’t have a rank

People that go out of their way to fix problems when and where they see them will be more successful in the long run. I’ve seen CFOs of large companies scrubbing a dirty toilette because they were the ones that saw it first. The most valuable employee is the one that jumps in and makes it happen, regardless of their title.

Dan Garfield
From the world of startups, Dan Garfield is the Senior Brand Manager at OrangeSoda, and author of The 5 Stages of Online Marketing. P.S. He's beat Super Mario Bros 3 without using a warp whistle.
2 Comments

2 Comments

  • AJ |   Dec 15th, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Here, Here! SO tired of people shrugging off duties because it’s not their job. Do you expect me to keep telling people about a dirty bathroom until I finally talk to the person who’s job it is? Your establishment has a reputation, and you’re part of it.

  • cherry |   Jun 22nd, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Your blog is interesting ,beautiful and full of information .I will learn from you if I want to make my blog popular,I think .

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