I frequent a local hangout in summer that features live music on Sundays and some pretty good food along with a decent selection of beer. A sunny Sunday afternoon on the Lake with a band filling the air with tunes is just the perfect way to finish a week. Or start one if you think Sunday is the start of the week.
So there was a server there and one time I asked her how she was doing. As usual, she frowned through a description of how she "f---ing hated her job." Wow.
Conversely this past weekend I happened to be the stage manager for a show at the Wells Fargo Center in Santa Rosa. There was a young lady there who was setting up chairs and tables, certainly not a management-level position. Every time I saw her she had a positive look on her face and if we made eye contact she smiled with a pleasant acknowledgement of me as a fellow human being.
I wonder if this lady, who I estimated to be about 20 years old, hated her job? If she did she was brilliant. Because as a small business owner if I had almost any position open I would immediately have approached her to see if she was available to work. That positive attitude and friendly nature is just the thing any business would be proud to have at any position.
And this is my point with this week's blog. If you love your job smile - jobs in the US are changing rapidly and a lot of people wish they had your job, no matter what that job is.
But, even more, if you hate your job, smile. Why? Because prospective employers are always on the lookout for people who represent their businesses in the best possible light and a positive, happy person is the absolute greatest asset any business can have. Disney knows this for sure.
If you go to Disneyland one of the things you'll notice is how clean it is. There is a team of people dressed in white whose responsibility it is to keep the grounds clean. They're armed with brooms and dust pans and continually work to stem the tide of trash that inconsiderate park attendees just throw on the ground. They are paid well but Disney knows that they are as much an ambassador of Disneyland as the person at the gate, the ride operator or even Mickey Mouse himself.
Every individual is an ambassador to your business, too. Any employer who doesn't recognize this is kidding themselves. The person who keeps the floors clean is just as important to the success of that business as the person who makes the decisions about the future of the business.
I've often said this of my lodging business - if I were suddenly taken by space aliens the business would continue for quite some time. If the housekeeping staff were stolen by space aliens the business would be out of business in a matter of a very few days. Who is really more important to that business? Nobody - we are all equal pieces of the puzzle. Managers who think they're hot potatoes should go away for six months and realize that the business is likely still running jus as well as when they left. Give the premium parking spots to the janitor, they are on their feet all day and could likely need those fewer steps.
At any rate, there's an old saying that says the altitude you achieve is dependent on the attitude you display. Now I really wish I had a position open for the smiley lady who was doing such a positive job at setting up tables and chairs. If you're looking for a job perhaps you should smile more.