What’s Happening Now?

Why do I maintain such a high standard for myself when the rest of the world doesn’t see the need to try?

I’ve found myself in a frustrating state as I’ve opened up my business to receive employment applications. It seems as though the past few rounds of hiring I’ve gone through I have received every sort of disappointment you could face when going through that vetting process.

I have have received resumes with terrible grammar, including several typos. I’ve received resumes that were so simple you couldn’t really consider it a resume, including one that had no contact information for that person……how do you expect me to get back in touch with you!?! One resume even listed work experience with dates that were 6 months in the future!!!! I mean, if you are capable of building a time machine I’m pretty sure there are more lucrative options than working for me!

Then comes the interviewing process. After sifting through the applications and resumes I select those that seem the most promising and may be the best fit. I would estimate that I have received about 50% attendance to those interviews. That’s right, I’ve come to expect that I will be stood up half of the time when it comes to interviews. No call, no text, no email stating why or apology. Just straight up no-shows. I did have one person come wandering in three days later claiming they lost their phone and that’s why they didn’t come in for our interview. When I called to set up the interview for the next morning she had her phone…… Maybe without her calendar on her phone she forgot she had an interview in that short period of time?

Then, the other half that do come quite often are late. Again, not the best impression.

Finally I make a hire HOPING that I’ve made a good decision because, again, I’ve come to find that I can’t trust what I’m being told in the interview. I’ve had employees that BEG for full time and then consistently take a day off each week. One was desperate for full time work “I need the income……I need the money.” Well……during the 6 months I had him on hire I never once paid him a full 80 hours. Why? Because he would consistently call in on a Monday morning saying he got sick over the weekend. Sounds to me like someone just has a hard time getting their butt out of bed to start another work week.

I’ve been told that someone is “very healthy and hardly ever has to call in sick” only to have them call in sick three times within the first 7 days. Also a mother with young children stated she had “care for them handled so that she can put in full days.” Now I have compassion for moms, don’t take me wrong here, but when you say you’ve got it handled and that it won’t interfere with your work then that is what I expect with the exception of an emergency here or there. I don’t expect you to have to leave 2-5 times each day randomly in order to pick them up, take care of a milk spill, settle a fight between sister and brother, and whatever else is happening while they are under the “care” that you arranged for them.

I don’t want your significant other hanging out by your desk for hours at a time before and after lunch or before they pick you up at the end of the day. I don’t want you to consistently show up 15 – 30 minutes late each day and then spend another 15 – 30 minutes preparing your breakfast. I don’t want you to spend 3 out of every 5 minutes on your phone texting. I don’t want you to put off my customer’s jobs to work on your own personal projects. I don’t want you to get offended when I get frustrated and sternly correct the same exact mistake that has been made for the 5th time. I want you to realize that the customers we serve are who pay your wage. If they feel your lack of care, experience you ignoring them, or receive a messed up job with obvious mistakes and choose to stop coming into our shop, that effects my ability to write you a check every two weeks.

I have just been blown away at the behavior I’ve seen. Things that I would never dream of doing if I were in their shoes because of the commitments I’ve made and the gratitude I would feel for what I am receiving. Almost as if I am expecting too much from a grown adult with adult responsibilities and commitments…….an adult that I’ve agreed to pay a competitive wage to in exchange for a portion of their time each day………a wage that allows them to provide for their daily needs and wants.

And yet, somehow these grown adults make it through life without any of their unfortunate circumstances being their fault. They lost their job because their boss fired them for being sick. Or at least that’s the story they tell leaving out the fact that they called in sick on a regular basis for the last month just so they could run to town with a friend, or because they didn’t feel like coming in that day, or whatever the reason was. So then, when they actually were sick and needed a few more days off, their employer finally pulled the plug because they had proven to be undependable.

And now they can’t afford to pay for little Johnny to have his tonsils out because they lost their job, all because that greedy business owner didn’t care that they were sick and needed a day off. Again, failing to mention that they over-extended their income by buying that new toy that they had to have after their neighbors bought one and those payments, coupled with an Amazon addiction, puts them into the red each month.

But that’s okay, a few taps on their IPhone (the latest model of course) creates a GoFundMe and puts their sad story out there for everyone to see and the charity starts rolling in, smoothing everything out, and covering for them.

I know I sound bitter. But when I work so hard, sacrifice so much, and go through continual effort day in and day out to keep the commitments I’ve made, to reciprocate what’s been offered me, and to take care of my own, it makes you a bit bitter to see others just skate by. It’s really frustrating when you realize that you don’t reap the full reward of your endless efforts because part of that reward is paying to fill in all the gaps they left.

I would like to clarify; I know that not every person out there is milking the system. I believe some people are wronged by greedy employers, that some people really do need help with medical expenses after they’ve done everything the can to cover them themselves. I know there are good people out there with good work ethics who are responsible and honest. Even after I’ve been burned I still give the benefit of doubt to those I come in contact with (probably more than I should).

But it does make me pause and wonder why I hold myself to such high standards when I could receive the same reward as those that seem to have lost those values.

Maybe it’s time I stop focusing on what can be measured in dollars and cents or on a clock and start living in the now.

A couple of days ago I was sitting in church and the speaker mentioned that phrase: Living in the now. I’ve hear that so many times and each time it was as if it was something someone else needed to hear. “I’ve got that handled” I would think. I mean, I like to daydream, but I don’t get caught up in the future and what mansions are in store for me. I felt like I dealt with enough daily struggles that it kept me grounded and not off in a wonderland. But this time it struck me a bit different.

Part of my anxiousness to bring on new employees is that I am loosing a couple of long-time employees that I depend on and so I am anxious to find replacements for them. Failing to do so would inevitably land more on my plate and I don’t have the time to have more on my plate. Not to mention that I am finally getting a taste of what a normal 9-5 job looks like and…..well…. I like it! I want to quite each day at a normal time. I want to have a consistent daily schedule of exercise to keep me healthy, then go to my job for a set amount of hours to provide for my family, then come home and be able to fit in some play with the kids, because I’m not emotionally drained from stress, and also have time for a hobby. I want to be able to schedule time off for a family vacation once in a while, and by time I mean more than a weekend.

I realized that I had become so focused on what I needed to fall into place within the next couple of months, that I was becoming discourage over what needed to happen right now in order to make that happen. I was setting such lofty goals of freedom for myself, that it was discouraging my day to day pursuits. Creating a monster in everything because it wasn’t fitting into my plan precisely the way it needed to.

I’ve come so far with this business over the last decade. A large portion of that was because of the standards I hold myself to. But equally was the day to day focus on the work that needed to be done now in order to meet the next payment that was breathing down my neck. Suddenly we are ahead! We are writing checks for large production machines without needing any sort of financing, we are offering wages higher than we ever have before, we have a very large and very beautiful facility that we own, and I am spending more time at home than I ever have before.

Those dreams are coming true. But only because I have taken one step at a time, one day at a time. My standards are high, but in the end with a ‘what’s needed right now’ focus, my reward will be greater than others. Sure, we need to know what’s coming tomorrow, but only so we can prepare to tackle it today.

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