One of the delights of not having a boss is that I set my own agenda, hours and tasks. There is a draw back. I don’t get paid unless I get on with it. But I did and still can find other people’s plans quite tedious. Even when quite new to the work place I was quite happy to organise myself and get it done. Didn’t need spoon feeding or organising. Being told when to go and come and when to have lunch and how to organise my possessions on my desk were things I found irritating. I was new enough to a pay check and paying rent to know I needed to curb that and get on with it. So I did. Curb. With varying degrees of success.
Looking back I expect that the people who wanted to constantly correct, chivvy and chafe the young were probably those with not enough on their own plate. This was in the days before HR. We had personnel. I’m not sure they even had files. Probably just lists. Relations (or resources) were industrial not human. There was no complaints procedure that I ever heard of. We did dreadful things. But we did work hard. Could probably have worked harder. But hey. This was the time when personal calls weren’t allowed at the office. And there were no mobile phones. This would save the modern boss about 2 hours of productivity per day.
Some of the dreadful things were dreadful. One friend had a boss who wore a big thick wig. As if we didn’t know. She used to turn the heating up in his airless office when he was at lunch. He was always too hot and sweaty by 3.30 to be poisonous (or lecherous) and would generally go out somewhere. When someone got really shouty about another friend for falling asleep (by mistake)(obviously it was a mistake this was an office) she said she wasn’t asleep but trying not to cry because her father had died (he hadn’t) and she hadn’t known what to say to the office. Thank goodness it was a temp job or she might have had to pretend she needed time off for the funeral.
Anyway my most successful friend – as in she was never really in any trouble, loved wherever she worked and was universally loved – had a great line. She never really stayed in a job long. Did a lot of temping. Not sure that still exists. Whatever she was asked – didn’t matter what or when or who by – she just said: “I’ll get right on it”. Or even: “Of course, I’ll get right on it”. Beautiful smile. The task allocator was often quite taken aback by this reaction. No arguing, squealing about work load or fairness. No sour look or raised eyes. Just a smile. The allocator would strut off – absolutely delighted. Whether the task was done then, later or at all didn’t seem to matter. She was left in peace.
The successful rocking fossil knows that the young can be unproductive. At points. Don’t always mean what they say. And that they will wreak havoc if treated badly. Or just lie. So be nice to them and they are nice back. Even complete the odd task. Meanwhile back at the fossils rock coal face I need to keep getting right on it. Being a fossil. Done. Rocking. I’m all over that.