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Posts Tagged ‘employment’

  1. Pet Peeve: Someone Should…

    July 27, 2015 by Ryan

    In my Facebook feed, I follow several restaurants and businesses. Almost always, when one posts something, comments follow saying, “You should open a Sticky Fingers in my city!” “You need another Wingers on the North / East / South / West side of such-a-town” “I really miss Target since I moved and wish there was one close to me.”

    I also follow my city’s Facebook page. Frequently, when they announce new developments, they get comments like “Cheesecake Factory should open in the city!” “Put a Starbucks location on the North / East / South / West side of town – with a drive through, because the morning traffic goes right by there and it would be an awesome location!”

    This just irks me every time.

    I get the thought they are trying to convey. But these posters are missing a fundamental point.

    What I hear them saying is, “Someone should do this for my convenience.”

    Why don’t you do it?!

    Yeah, I’m talking to you, poster of the comment!

    If this is such a great idea – a foolproof moneymaking operation – why don’t you get the capital together and make it happen?!

    These businesses and restaurants don’t just magically happen. It takes money. It takes management. It takes employees. It takes incentive. It takes guts. It takes risk. Someone stands behind it, and rises or falls with it.

    The city council doesn’t vote to open a new Taco Bell or Trader Joe’s or In-N-Out Burger and then – poof – construction machines show up and start moving earth.

    Real people decide that the venture is worth it, and they make it happen.

    Real people like you!

    If you don’t have the money to do it, pool together with your family or friends and invest in it. Or get a business loan. Find someone who has the money and pitch the idea; go in on it as a 5% or 10% investor.

    But don’t just complain on Facebook that someone else should make this thing happen for you. You do no market research. You assume no risk. You just want it to be there to suit you.

    That is downright cowardly to make such suggestions and not be willing to back them up.

    Yes, Facebook commenter, I just called you a coward.

    Understand that I know where I’m coming from. From 1998 to 2001 I owned and operated my own small business.

    In a small city, with my own money to invest, I signed a lease on some business space and I opened a computer store.

    I can say for certain that I didn’t make millions of dollars. I wasn’t exactly a failure either. I learned a lot of lessons, and I did well enough to get by during those years. It was very much a challenge. I wouldn’t trade what I learned from that experience for anything else.

    Especially what I learned about respect for a business owner. I take my hat off to anyone who makes that decision to invest themselves and their resources into making an honest enterprise happen.


  2. Just Passing Through…

    December 22, 2011 by Ryan

    Several times each day, as I walk through the building at my place of employment, I pass the kind receptionists who work at the front desk.

    At once, I feel both admiration and sorrow for them. They sit at the desk, day after day, and represent our company to all visitors who wander through the doors. Their work is open for all to observe.

    The pressure is on.

    They must look professional. Even when the rest of the company is enjoying a casual day, they must take their casual attire up a notch.

    They must smile. Even when people they might not like personally walk through their “office” or approach their desk to ask for assistance, they just keep smiling.

    They must remain friendly. Over 400 people walk by their desk in any given day. I imagine that when each of those 400 individuals say hello to the people at the desk, they expect to be greeted warmly in return. These receptionists manage to learn most or all of the names of these people, laugh at their jokes, and treat them as a friend.

    They must be knowledgeable. Because they are positioned in the open, at the front of the building, they are asked for absurd knowledge expected to know far more than their job description requires.

    They must be prepared. People frequently ask them for supplies – pens, notepads, markers, hand sanitizer, etc. I have to imagine that they cringe inside when someone, coughing and sneezing, approaches and asks for a box of facial tissue. However, see the rules above concerning smiling and remaining friendly.

    Which brings me to my dilemma.

    As I mentioned, I must pass their desk several times a day. What should I do to acknowledge their presence? And at what point do I become a pest to them?

    If occasionally I need to walk through a smaller office of an executive in the building, it becomes very obvious that I am “in their space” and so a word of greeting is certainly appropriate. The front desk is, in a sense, the largest (and least-private) office in the building. Whether I am going to the restroom, crossing the lobby to the other side of the building, or headed to the stairs, I am passing through their space. They are living, human beings, and deserve some sort of recognition, right?

    Since I must pass this way several times a day, should I extend a “hello” or prepare a witty comment for each stroll? If I did, would that not quickly put me on the list of people that annoy them? Or quite the opposite, would they consider me to be one of the friendliest workers and delight each time I came along? I’d never really be sure, because – remember – they are expected to keep smiling all of the time.

    So, to attempt to gain perspective, I reverse the situation in my mind. I wonder if, for some reason, they needed to come to my desk to ask something of me, how it would play? Would I smile and greet them as a treasured friend, and give them everything they requested with a smile and a song? I’m sure I would try to do so. But what if they randomly came through my workspace and said “Hi, Ryan! Hope your day is great!” as they continued on? After several occurrences, would I start to feel like that was disingenuous? Or creepy?

    Yet if as a coworker they always passed my desk without speaking, would I start to wonder if they were upset, unkind, or simply unimpressed with me or my work?

    And so, I’m left wondering – what is the proper greeting or acknowledgement of the hard working people who act as the public face, and work to make the company look good?

    I have not yet decided what is right. If you figure it out, will you let me know?

    You can leave a message for me with the front desk.


  3. Tough to Find Work

    May 17, 2010 by Ryan

    I know the economy has been tough, but consider this poor actor.

    Last time he worked, it was in the Ron Clements and John Musker 1992 Disney flick, “Aladdin”

    Crazy Hakioo from Aladdin

    Everybody's working for the weekend

    He didn’t find another gig until another Ron Clements and John Musker film, Disney’s 2009 release of “The Princess and the Frog”

    New Orleans Pooper Scooper

    Taken Care of Business

    Yes, times are tough out there for a cartoon actor with few skills.

    (Pictures used in this post are copyrighted by Disney)