Today’s workforce – where do I even begin? We’ve officially entered the era where “job-hopping” is a thing. Gone are the days where one would enter a company and that would be their “career” for life. In the land of opportunities, the opportunities are plenty but not because there’s a constant need for additional workers, it’s because there’s a constant need to fill the consistently empty posts. Of course, new companies pop up every single day and new positions are always available – but in the world we live in today, people are always looking for “the next best thing,” which also means people are constantly leaving their jobs and what’s really concerning is that people no longer care to be competent if they don’t plan on staying with that company.
I’ve worked with people who are able to come up with ten different excuses in a millisecond as to why their job wasn’t done. I’ve worked with people who believe that showing up is already doing the work. I’ve worked with people who will only do the bare minimum of what their post requires – no more, no less. I’ve worked with people who don’t believe in doing even the minimum at all. I’ve worked with people who showed up late every other day. I’ve worked with people who had trouble showing up altogether. I’ve worked with people who would clock in and then sit down to enjoy their breakfast every day. I’ve worked with people who would spend their lunch hour running errands or squeezing in some exercise and then eat their food after they’ve already been due to return to work. I’ve worked with people who simply didn’t care about holding their job or doing it well.
In the world of retail, as a salesperson, you would think that closing as many sales or servicing as many customers as possible is key, right? Not with my experience. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve transferred from an extremely high volume location to a more local and residential area in the company I worked for. In the new store, I’ve witnessed salespeople who actually have quotas to meet and exceed, take their sweet time – up to four hours – with a single customer. This literally happened on a daily basis. I totally get that building rapport is extremely important but that was definitely not what everyone was doing. There was no sense of urgency and nobody cared that customers were waiting over an hour while they were just chatting it up with people about things that were irrelevant to why they were in the store. I initially thought that maybe this is only an issue at that location but after voluntarily filling in at multiple other locations, I quickly realized that this is the current problem with today’s workforce. This doesn’t just stand for the company that I worked for, I’ve also observed the same exact problem at other business all around the Bay Area.
I’ve been in businesses where employees would scatter as soon as someone walks through the front door. I’ve been in businesses where employees would keep their heads down and avoid eye contact (avoiding having to acknowledge/helping you aka doing actual “work”). I’ve been in businesses where employees make you wait until they’re finished with their conversation about how trashed they got over the weekend. I’ve seen a lot. After realizing that this happens everywhere, I’ve finally given up on searching for another job. I had my heart set on staying with my company because it made no sense to leave a company that I’ve already invested so many years in, a company that paid me fairly decent, a company with a great benefits package, a company where I was fortunately able to meet a few amazing individuals who actually cared about their jobs and worked hard to move up. Staying would’ve been my plan had I not been hit with several mental health issues.
As someone who normally loves a busy environment and was used to working alongside competent individuals, this company was slowly killing me inside. Like I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, today’s workforce no longer cared about staying with the same company or performing well. That reflected heavily in this company as the turnover rate was ridiculously high. We’d lose one incompetent individual only to hire another one. It was an endless cycle of having to train and put up with people who simply did not care. Call me “old fashioned” but I still believe that if you are fortunate enough to have a job, you should do it well.
It was probably the most difficult yet easy decision of my life when the Mr. informed me that one of his partners were leaving and he would need someone to fill in as needed. We talked it over, did some calculations, the Mr. stated he’d rather pay me (pay ourselves) than to pay a stranger, and that was why I left my job of over 7 years. I’m only making merely a fraction of what I used to make as this is not a full-time job, but this is probably the “best case scenario” for me. After years of getting zero bites from industries that I did have an interest in and only getting offers from competitors in my then-current field, I’ve decided that the conventional job was no longer for me. I can’t fathom returning to an industry where 90% of workers did not care, 9% make minimal effort, and only 1% actually try (theoretical percentages, I don’t really have exact numbers – this is what I’ve personally observed). As much as it is for the comfort and flexibility, it’s also something to keep me busy and hold me over until I am ready for another challenge. Hopefully the future workforce will have bigger ambitions than to just make enough to cover their leisure expenses.