Posted by: kerrywills | June 24, 2011

Who cares?


I always hear the phrase “work to live instead of live to work” which I totally get. Work is a means to make a living to support family, hobbies, lifestyle, etc. But does that mean that we don’t have to care about our work and what we do as a representation of ourselves and our values?

I am amazed (and disappointed..and frustrated) at the number of people at work who just don’t care. Here are some examples (just taken from the last week at work)

  • They don’t respond to messages
  • Their work is sloppy and they clearly didn’t put effort into it
  • They don’t attend meetings or apologize for not making them
  • They miss commitments and don’t seem to feel bad about it
  • They can’t tell you when something will be done (even after they told you a date and already missed it)
  • They are quick to tell you they can’t help you, but won’t offer up who might be able to help
  • They don’t offer to help others who are struggling

They don’t care. And there are a lot of “them” out there. And they make a lot of money (and are probably the first ones to expect raises and bonuses). This makes no sense in the economy that we are living with now. Nearly ten percent of the population is unemployed and would certainly care about having one of these jobs.

I wonder if this is because people get tired and overworked. Or somehow this behavior is tolerated or overlooked? Well whatever the reason, it puts more work on those of us who do care. It seems to be an epidemic across corporate America.

Anyway who cares? No really, I am asking – “who cares” because I know I do.

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Responses

  1. Hello Kerry,

    Would you be willing to post a review of my new book How to Be a Project Manager without Getting Killed on Amazon? I will send a PDF or Kindle version at your request. Eubanks29@comcast.net

    See the book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Project-Manager-Without-Getting-Killed/dp/1453845151/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1308845256&sr=1-1

    Can I help you out some way?

    Please send me your email address and what format you prefer.

    Much Appreciated,
    David Eubanks
    Eubanks29@comcast.net

  2. I think its because they’re behavior is tolerated and they’ve earned sinority within the org that makes them feel immune. Fire them and their manager or correct their behavior. Just because they were awesome at one point does no give them a free ride for the rest of their careers….

  3. One of the challenges of working in a matrixed organization where everyone is over-subscribed is getting everyone to agree on priorities. When someone is working on one or more projects, in addition to the regular duties of their “real job,” most folks are going to prioritize the work that they’ll still be doing in six months over the tasks associated with the “temporary endeavor” that they’ve been assigned to. While it might seem as though stakeholders should align with a project, the reality is that they also have their own customers and stakeholders, with whom they have long-term relationships. It’s a delicate balancing act to keep a project on track when the people who’ve been assigned to contribute are being pulled back, or are pushing back.

    I know a lot of authorities advise that resource availability conflicts should be escalated to the sponsor, and I certainly agree, but the way in which you escalate can make the difference between renewed dedication to the project, and passive-aggressive “cooperation.” While there certainly are some folks out there who can only be described as lazy, worthless wastes of protein, you might find there are even more who simply don’t share your priorities, frequently for excellent reasons. I’ve learned to ask, “Is there something I can do to facilitate?” The reasons people offer when trying to talk me out of it generally speak volumes.


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