Shitty work ethics, and the folks who love them
For most of my life, I always been under the impression that I had a pretty decent work ethic. I get my work done, it’s done correctly 99% of the time, and I usually don’t have many complaints outside of missing a small detail here or there. It now appears that I’ve been under a false assumption, since it’s not just the results, but how you work, and I’m not talking about procedures.
I truly flourish as a worker in a specific type of environment. I have no problem dealing with difficult people, or troubleshooting difficult issues, so long as I work with good people that I can talk to and joke with. In the end, I’m a social person (though you wouldn’t know it by my “special” social skills), and I like working with good people. My last job, in NYC, had me working with a large group of truly awesome people. We cracked jokes, played pranks, and kicked ass. We supported very demanding clients, solved very complicated issues when they arose, and had as good of a time doing it as one could have.
Without coworkers like that, I’ve found myself trolling around Facebook, watching Netflix or downloaded movies, and desperately looking for people to chat with on IM during the day. Problem is, some places frown upon such activities, which leaves me in a shitty position. See, I don’t have a problem with complicated work. I don’t have a problem with menial tasks either. My problem, as it stands, is that I need some sort of break or distraction to be able to truly work effectively and efficiently.
Now I’m sure you’re saying to yourself “But, dumbass, if you are distracted, then you can’t work effectively OR efficiently, since you’re not fully focused on the task at hand!”, and logically you’d be correct, but that’s not how my brain works. I need some sort of break in the action, especially when it’s a lengthy project or boring task. Let me be completely honest here; I get bored relatively easily. If I’m hacking away at something, and it’s going very slowly, I need something to charge me back up. It helps revitalize my efforts, and I can get back to my task with fervor. If the issue at hand is critical, or the job is fast paced, then I don’t have that problem, since the insanity makes things much more fun.
Working in an environment that lacks the enthusiastic camaraderie , and disallows any other distractions, makes a few things happen. First and foremost, I end up bored as fuck. Nobody wants to work in a place where they’re bored all day. Don’t get me wrong, I have a shitload of work I could be doing, but there’s nothing to break it up or make it enjoyable in any way. I’m also more prone to make little mistakes here or there. I know I’m only human, and mistakes happen, but they happen more when I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, which I guess makes me a shitty worker to some people. Granted, even with these “extra” mistakes, I still do at least as good as many others who have similar experience and responsibilities, but that’s besides the point.
Perhaps the worst result of this type of environment is that it causes depression. Let’s face it, folks, nobody wants to work in a place where the work itself is boring, unless the people or other distractions make it enjoyable, and vice versa. Achieving enjoyment from your job isn’t only about the feeling or sense of accomplishment when a task is completed or a problem is solved. As is consistent with many things in life, it isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey. When I think about raising my kids, this becomes most apparent. When i’m on my deathbed, and I see the people my kids have grown to become, no “end result” can possibly hold a candle to the awesomeness of the years leading up to it. It’s the same way at work. If you’re in a job where you’re in an uptight environment, with little enjoyment other than the sense of accomplishment from doing the job, then you’re not likely to be happy there. Granted, this isn’t a general rule, just my opinion, but I think it’ll hold true for a fair amount of people.
Just to throw this out there, Google has a policy that sort of proves my point. A policy they have with their engineers states that 20% of their work time is to be spent on a “company related” project that interests them personally. Even though it’s company related, having screw-around time is essential to keep the gears turning, and I’m pretty sure it’s helped them tremendously since apps like Gmail and Google News started as 20% time projects. Take notes, employers.
So there you have it. Not sure where I stand in the “Shitty Work Ethic Hierarchy , but whatever. At least I understand enough about myself to know which variables lead to my best output. Guess I’m just high maintenance….