I’ll always remember that it happened when my friend and I were working for the government. We had an election that year and the administration changed. We decided to make an agreement. We promised each other never again to say, the job couldn’t get any worse. The job got worse.
In my life, I have had a lot of jobs. Some were good, many were not so good. I had only one boss that I would have nominated as Boss of Any Year. That was because he loved his job, it seemed like the job he was called to do. In fact, several years later, when he was chosen to head a state agency in the same field, I recommended him in my newspaper column, something I wouldn't ordinarily do. He’s still my favorite boss.
Unfortunately, in my job history, that boss was an exception to the rule. He was not only well educated, but uniquely qualified for his field. He had the personality of a good leader. He was always full of ideas about how he and his staff could to do the job better. Once he had us all enroll in a prepaid college course so that we could gain new skills that we could apply to our work. He was well-suited to train other people on how to be a good boss.
On the other hand, I’ve worked for people who should never be a boss. The worst bosses are those that have character flaws. These people have had certain experiences in their lives that have scarred their personalities. They have a personal reaction to certain personality types with whom they have bad relationships in the past from which they never recovered. These personality types become personal enemies in the work environment, and the entire atmosphere becomes poisoned for everyone by the behavior of these two mismatched people.
At worst, these people are allowed to remain in their posts primarily because they know their jobs. Their bosses are acquainted with their flaws, but they lack the leadership skills to know how to manage the problem.
People without leadership skills create most of the problems in any work environment. On some jobs, employees in the human resource departments have fewer skills than most anyone else on the job. They seem to never learn people skills. Sometimes, simply moving certain individuals to another department can solve a problem.
Employees working in retail over the last 20 years have let us know that educational standards are not what they used to be. Somehow, most of these people have lost the ability to count change. If the cash register doesn’t do it for them, some find it virtually impossible to do it themselves. Fortunately, most registers in fast food establishments keep track of how much each item costs and adds the amounts together to come up with a total. Many employees can’t tell you how much a hamburger costs unless they read it from a bulletin posted on the wall.
The business of making money definitely has its challenges. Those at the low-end of the pay scale will usually remain there, unless they educate themselves.
Anyway, my work history taught me a lot about people. I have always said the reason job training programs fail is because the instructors spend too much time teaching people how to do the job. They would get better employees if they spent the first part of the training teaching people how to discipline their lives to prepare themselves to perform whatever job that needs to be done.
Maybe, with so many people still out of work, employers will get smarter. Creating a good work environment will encourage people to want to do a good job. That will be good for business.
Common sense is usually the best idea.