Respect for our fellow man is something that I have been thinking about lately. I make a conscious effort to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes when I get annoyed. I get plenty of practice.
Well, I said it was something I have to make a conscious effort to do. Someday maybe it will be my first instinct to walk that mile instead of getting annoyed first.
If you have ever held, or currently do hold, one of the following positions you have probably said to yourself at least once “If people only knew what its like they would have more respect.”
Farm Laborer – Working outside in miserable weather doing hard physical labor and not making much above minimum wage. Doesn’t that sound like fun? After one day in either blistering heat or pouring rain, your aching muscles will give you a greater appreciation of what it takes to get that salad to your table.
Food Server – I have never held this job unless you count trying to get a toddler/preschooler to eat. Ugh. On your feet all day with a smile on your face, keep all of the orders straight, trying to please both the customer and the kitchen staff, often juggling responsibilities and tables that are not your own, in many places having your pay be based mostly on tips and people yelling at you or stiffing you because of things beyond your control (long waits, food not to the customer liking, responsible for too many tables, etc, etc.)
The next time you think about not leaving a tip, ask yourself if it is really the wait staffs fault. If it isn’t, pay the person their “due” and let the manager know about your discontent on your way out. If the wait staff is the problem, leave what you think is deserved and tell the manager why.
Telephone Customer Service Rep – Imagine listening to every single person that calls during your shift begin by complaining about either the automated menu or long wait time or both. HELLO! That only makes the next persons wait longer. And neither of those things are under the customer service reps control. Then you try your best to make the customer happy within the company guidelines and it still isn’t good enough. You and your company are verbally raked over the coals.
Then there are those callers that are too good to speak to a mere customer service representative. They insist on speaking directly to the President of the company. Sigh. Those are the ones I got to deal with. My absolute favorite was the gentleman calling from Texas based on his caller ID and accent. He derided the Customer Service Rep he spoke with at the call center with a racial slur about India. I gently informed him our call center was located not to far away from him and was staffed mainly by students at Texas A&M. “Oh, he’s an Aggie!? Well that explains everything.” He went to a rival school.
The next time you have to call customer service, before you go off on a tirade, ask yourself if you would say the same things if you were face to face with the person in a crowded room.
Sports Official – YOU ARE WRONG. No matter what you do, what you think you saw, or what the rulebook says at least once a game you will be wrong. And someone will point it out to you. Often in a loud threatening manner. Even if you were right. One of the most thankless “jobs” on the planet. And I put “job” in quotes because the vast majority of officials are volunteers. Only those at the college and professional level are paid more than a stipend or transportation cost.
Especially appalling to me are the way youth sports officials are treated. Screaming and threatening another parent out there volunteering his/her time as if he were Ed Hochuli calling the Super Bowl is asinine. Get a grip. What message are you sending to the children watching you.
Teacher – Do at least one hour of prep work for every hour of teaching. Cover all of the material in the manner required by the state, county and district. Be up to date on all of the latest teaching methods and technologies. Be able to scale your lesson for those below grade level while still keeping the interest of those far above it. Be constantly aware of what each of the 25-30+ students are doing in the room at every second. And deal with the demands or complete disinterest of the parents.
This is the one that got me thinking about this list. Yesterday a teacher friend posted on Facebook that “multiple parents” had requested being transferred out of her class 3 weeks into the school year. Why? Because she dared to punish the entire class. Not one bothered to ask the teacher for her side of the story before running to administration. What they didn’t know was the entire class had been warned about noise level while getting books out or transitioning to the next activity. After several warnings she told everyone they would start on “yellow” the next day, with the opportunity to move back up if they followed rules. Words fail me.
So, what other jobs do you think the general public would benefit from having to experience at least for one day?