Deliver My Newspaper On Time!

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Ok – I know you are smiling and snickering behind your back because I am writing an article about the newspaper, and more importantly my frustration at my carrier not being able to regularly deliver it on time. Many of you out there are saying “Why does she still read the newspaper?” Or better yet, “I can’t believe she still reads the newspaper.”

 

You are not the first with these thoughts and comments. Many, many people, including those near and dear to me laugh and say – just read the news online. I respond that I don’t want to read it online. I look at a computer all day, every day, and into the evening hours most of the time. I like not looking at a screen. I like the tradition of having my morning coffee and reading the paper while I wake up.  

 

I like that I just turn the pages, without searching and all the current news in my city, local surroundings and the world is right there for me to catch up on. No searching endlessly online to be sure I didn’t miss anything, in 12 different sites. Yes, I have apps on my phone for this, but it’s still on a screen, only tinier.

 

But, this article is not about the merits or lack thereof of reading the newspaper. It is about personal responsibility. And the fact that my local carrier apparently does not have it. The paper during the week is supposed to be here no later than 6AM, which is good for me because I am an early bird and up and about making coffee and talking to my honey way before that. 

 

My carrier took this job knowing that her job is to get the paper out to the people on her route at the expected time; before 6AM Mon-Fri, before 7AM on Sat, and before 8AM on Sunday. If you have trouble understanding this is the requirement of the job or delivering on this requirement, then it’s really simple; don’t take the job. 

 

It’s A Bigger Issue

 

I fear that this lack of personal responsibility is a bigger issue than just my newspaper delivery person. I see it every day in the workplace where people are surfing the net, talking and texting on phones, etc., any time they can while at work, rather than focusing on the job they were hired to do. And then when someone complains, they take offense. Really? Did you forget you took the job with the understanding that you would perform certain duties in exchange for being paid? If you perform the duties, you have a right to be paid. If you are hired to work 8 hours a day, then you must work 8 hours a day to be paid for 8 hours of work.  

 

This seems like a concept that is easy enough to comprehend, but apparently, it is not. Not only is it not understood, but it seems to be a prevalent thought that the right to surf the net, shop online during work, and talk to and text your friends while at work is a given right, probably in the constitution. I must have missed this somehow.

 

The sad thing is this is reflected even more in American society as a whole. The attitude of “what can I get away with” seems to prevail far too often. There are commercials on TV where the boss comes in and everyone pretends to be working when they really are not. And it is accepted behavior with the “boss” being the one that is portrayed as the “fool.”  

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Do you really want people that don’t have good work ethics and don’t care putting your car together, making your birth control products, telling you what is in your food, and running the airports and trains? Or a first baseman on a pro team that is just not in the mood?

 

I also see this attitude in business where people ignore deadlines and due dates for projects and tasks. If you have promised work by a certain time, then you need to deliver on or before that time, or give the receiving party ample warning that you will not be delivering on time. The warning with ample lead time is much more important than the reason or the excuse. 

Own up to the fact that you are not delivering as promised, with profuse apologies, and then ensure that it does not happen again. It is no one’s fault but your own. Do not pass blame… Just make it right.

 

In fact, if we all owned up to our own weaknesses and tried to over-achieve instead, can you imagine what might happen?

 

Tags: Personal Responsibility

Categories: Lessons Learned, Business Coaching