This is one of those things I always debate posting but please, hear me out. In a world in which all people struggle to work and live in some kind of balance, there’s going to be some give and take.
For the record.
I know life is about that, life. I work to live, not the other way around. No matter how important it may seem or how much I value my job, it’s just that – a job, how the bills get paid.
In my world: every employer would offer full benefits, child care, pet care, fern care, all the leave you could want or need. Sick days would never be counted as vacation time, TPTB would save your job if you had to take off a month to do .. whatever.
Management would celebrate leaving work early to go to school plays and be all about the vacation photos and no one would get in trouble because they were seen with a cocktail in their hands on some random picture on Facebook.
Flex time and telecommuting would be the norm and the work week would consist of whatever produced the best work. Grey cube farms would be taxed extra, TPS reports abolished. Any meeting lasting more than 20 minutes must provide food and drink; and a buzzer or pie toss for Death by PowerPoints.
Companies would do all that and more. Why? Because they succeed or fail via their employees, aka people with lives that don’t revolve around work.
That typed (in that dread ‘but’ voice) …
Work matters. Because I was taught to give work its due respect, I aim for A+ work.
All jobs are different, some requiring more constant focus that others; i.e. it’s called customer-facing for a reason, you’re there to be available to help the customer. Bottom line is the front line.
Having walked those shoes, I don’t look down on those serving my food or running call center customer service — it is very hard work and I appreciate it when it’s done well. What I don’t appreciate is when the person doing my pedicure stops. To answer their sodding cell phone.
Two rules of calling etiquette I learned as a child: 1) 9-to-9; don’t call first thing in the morning or late at night. Phone rings real late, usually not a good thing. 2) You don’t call people at work. When Mom was at work, she was working dammit. Any questions or concerns were to be directed to my designated adult supervisors, operating under their respective marching orders. (Picture a big flowchart with questions like ‘well, does it cost money?’ and all paths leading to “No” and if you called at work, “Hell NO.”)
We’ve all been there, work is distracted by more work; I’m talking about non-emergency personal business. And if haven’t figured out this is a code yellow! rant, now you know.
I am over the cell phone, the need to be reachable 24/7. Double so when more often than not, it’s FOMO and want not imminent-Zombie-attack need.
I’ve been in line at the post office, only to have the clerk walk off to take what’s clearly a personal (could, should wait) call.
It’s annoying – the personal interrupting and distracting from the professional, particularly when you’re left waiting or to pick up the slack.
Even before the cell phone, I’ve worked with people always glued to their phone, never having time to do what needed to get done.
And I am tired the excuses.
NO. Voicemail. Texts. Whatever it is, it can wait. Usually.
One reason Balance is so hard to find is because we have set ourselves up to fail. The smartphone is supposed to be a convenience, instead.. it’s a master, a crutch, a bad habit.
We have social media policies to help guide professional behavior online; maybe it’s time to go back to basics, consider a workplace cellphone policy too. Or is it just me?