A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Great Employee

I'm a leader in a call center and I've seen all kinds of employees-the good, the bad and the ugly. They've all crossed my paths at one time and since I'm in the mood for sharing, here are some of my best tips on being a great employee:
*Show up to work on time.
If you're gonna call out sick, make sure you have sick time or that you've discussed making other arrangements w/your Leader. Sick time should be considered the same as money in a savings account. Running through your sick time as soon as it's accrued is just like spending your money and never saving anything. What happens when you really need it? It's gone and you're being placed on counseling. Come to work. That's what you're expected to do.
*Look like you're coming to work and not the laundromat.
Now that most businesses have converted to 'business casual', dress codes have changed dramatically. When I first started working in the mid-80's, we wore nylons, closed toe shoes and blouses. Now I see people coming in tights, torn jeans, wrinkled t-shirts, just like they're on their way to do laundry or wash the car. And let me give advice to big people...please don't wear those pants that cling to every roll and ripple in your jiggly thighs! That's disgusting! I'm a big girl-size 34- so I know what I'm talking about. If you just have to wear those pants wear a shirt long enough to cover that up! There's nothing worse than seeing your cellulite-ridden hips jiggle when you walk by my desk.
I love wearing perfume. My favourite fagrances are Shiseido's Zen, Ralph Lauren's Romance and Guerlain's Quelques Fleur. It's alright to spray a bit when coming to work but guess what? People three aisles from your desk don't need to smell you. Three sprays-one to each wrist and one behind your right knee will do nicely, thank you.
*Be nice to people.
Remember the Golden Rule? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's still just as true as it was back then. It won't kill you to hold the door for others or let someone else take the last free water. Be nice to security guards, janitors, support staff and admins. Too many of us are curt, surly and downright nasty w/the people we work with. One other point to consider, the person you work with today may one day be your boss. What kind of memory do you want people to have when you walk into that interview?
*Support your leader, even if s/he's an idiot.
Yeah I said it. I've reported to leaders who couldn't spell, use correct punctuation, knew nothing about our business, cared nothing about developing their direct reports and cared nothing about their reports as people. All they cared about was looking good in front of the Big Boss. Although it's easy and tempting to show up your loser boss in front of his/her boss, take care because it may backfire on you and then you'll really up a creek. Especially if your boss's boss leaves the department. Then you're left to fend for yourself and pray your boss won't torture you as much as s/he can. Ok, let me make this clear: there's a difference in treatment if your boss is an idiot. If s/he's making racist or sexist comments, inappropriately touching you, being unethical and forcing you to be unethical, document everything, then run-don't walk- to his/her boss's office. If you're still met w/resistance, go even higher. Some companies have omsbuds who are there to do handle these kinds of complaints.
*Take your development into your own hands.
Face it folks, in today's cutthroat workplace it's usually every woman for herself. You should talk to your boss about your development plans at least twice a year but don't feel that just because you've told your boss about your plans that s/he'll remember them or even care about them. It's up to you to find your next promotion or position. Find mentors who are movers in the company or department and meet w/them. Look in the internal job openings to see what piques your interest, then contact the hiring leader to get add'l information about the positions. Try to get your boss' buy-in about your leaving but be prepared-s/he may not want you to leave. Maybe because s/he doesn't feel you have the skills for the particular job, maybe because s/he's going for the same job, and because you're such a good worker that your leaving may actually spotlight to his/her boss that you were the one doing all the work anyway:-)
*Stop grumbling and complaining. The door opens out as well as opens in.
Can't stand your boss? Can't support the business goals? Tired of the job and people you work with? Fine, leave! You were looking for a job when you found this one, why stay around making yourself sick and your peers even sicker of you? Get out! I can't stand those employees who whine and complain about the job day in and day out and won't leave! I don't care that you've lost faith in the company because we've outsourced departments. Do us all a favour and find a multinational that hasn't outsourced and go work for them. I've had to work w/people who thought they were doing me a favour by coming to work. They're picking up a paycheck, sitting in an air-conditioned building, playing on the 'Net and using benefits and they wanna complain all day and try to bring me down 'cause they're unhappy and trifling. My company doesn't like us to be direct and ask people to leave but sometimes I just have to tell them because they're making my butt burn! If you're not going to leave because you're too cowardly to go find something different then shut up, increase your performance and make the best of the situation. No one wants Dour Doras on their team so do what you're supposed to be doing and move on.
*Gossip is a two-edged sword.
It's a good thing to know the politics of your department but not all of the gossip. Too many times you hear this stuff and then repeat it, not knowing that you could be labeled the one who actually started the rumour. Trust me on this. Don't say anything you wouldn't want sent on a department-wide email. I used to hear the Saints say, "The dog who brings a bone will carry a bone." This means you hear something, give your opinion and the gossiper then spreads out your comments after embellishing it 2-7 times higher. Be safe and keep your opinions to yourself and the Lord.
*Align yourself with people of good reputation.
I've always believed this, even when I was in high school. I wanted to be w/the popular kids because I wanted to be popular. When I got to college, I hung around the AKA sisters even though I couldn't pledge (my church wouldn't allow us to join sororities back then) because they were always popular. My friends are a lot like me-we travel, read, want to do lots of things. Even at work I don't hang around others who are constantly complaining, not performing, of ill repute and who are just Dour Doras. My peer group are usually high performing leaders with good reputations. Those others I speak to (cordially of course) but that's it. Here's another old saying..."If you play in garbage, you're gonna get dirty." There are too many lies going on to give haters more ammunition. Stay close to good people.

Ok, there you have it. A free-how-to-be-a-great-employee instruction booklet free of chrg. Now get back to work:-)

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April 07, 2006 11:16 AM  

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