Here are some personal rules that help me get along with other workers…most of the time.
1. Do whatever anyone asks you to do unless it’s against company policy.
In almost every work environment there are people who tell you what to do who are not your actual bosses. For over thirty years I’ve had the same job. I learned the first month that I was going to be told what to do by a lot of people that didn’t actually sign my pay check. Since I was the newcomer, I decided that unless there was some pressing reason why I should not, I would willingly follow any requests anybody made. This included, in my mind, even requests of the janitor. Later on I found out that office politics can make you suffer very easily and I realized how lucky I was that no-one had found me uncooperative. Back then, there were a few people in our office who in small insidious ways could make or break you with your “real bosses”.
2. Don’t call attention to mistakes that are just mistakes!
One thing that happens in my office all the time is that someone makes a small mistake and it affects my work. It might be a math error that throws me off, a customer that they extend credit to without getting a proper address or they may—and this is a regular thing—accept a payment from a customer that says, “I think I owe…” rather than finding out exactly what they do owe so the payment will be precise. My fellow employees never have any problems with me about these little lapses because I simply take care of them. I don’t tell them all about it and demand that they never make the same mistake again. I know it was a mistake and they probably won’t make the same mistake next time or the time after that, but regardless of what rules are made, they will make another mistake eventually—and when that happens, I’ll deal with that one too. Only if the mistake is of a nature that makes me know there is something my co-worker needs to know and does not do I even mention the mistakes I find. Which leads me to…
3. Don’t demand “forever” processes or rules for a one-time problem.
Once, although responsibility was never determined, a certain document that I process and then hand off to another employee got lost. The other employee was overwhelmed with indignation that she couldn’t prove the fault was mine rather than hers; so for the next fifteen years, right up until today, I have had to attach a voucher to each of these documents, which she signs and returns to me. If anything else ever goes missing, I will have to prove by the voucher that I actually gave it to her…but in fifteen years we haven’t lost another one, we’ve just passed two or three vouchers back and forth every day!
4. If it doesn’t really matter, don’t make an issue of it.
I confess, I don’t like to be told what to do, but there are times when it really rankles. That’s when I am told that something I am doing is wrong when actually I am just doing it my way rather than the co-worker’s way with no discernible difference in outcome. I have been known to get short about this, but of course I shouldn’t. (Refer to rule 1 above.)
5. Do your own work and help out others when you can.
It works for Christians and it works for employees too.
I wish you happy workdays.
Staff Writer, Inspirational Archive
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