Not My Job.


Not My Job.

I’m not proud of it, but I have said it before. When we get rushed, tired, burned out, or frustrated, it’s hard not to say it. In fact, I think we all have probably seen this play out in some part of our life.

Whether the words are actually spoken or it is said with actions, “that’s not my job” is an organizational disease. “Not my job syndrome” is something that can so easily spread throughout an organization. Every time a customer/participant/coworker sees an employee act from a not-my-job mindset, the atmosphere in the room is adjusted…deflated.

Someone working in customer service telling the customer, “Sorry, I don’t know how to do returns,” and then just walking away. A supervisor walking past an overflowing garbage can and taking note of how bad that looks but thinking, “I have employees to take care of that.” A Workforce Development employee hurrying to a store to check in on a participant and walking past the shopping cart that was carelessly left in the middle of the parking lot. These things happen every day.

The beauty of our Goodwill culture is that literally every employee has the opportunity to help craft it. I can’t help but smile when I see an employee walking into work who takes 30 seconds to put away that stray shopping cart. I take pride when I see a store employee walk a customer over to the supervisor who can answer the customer’s question. I am proud to say that I work for Goodwill on the days that I see my coworkers come together to take care of something that isn’t actually any of their jobs.

You have the awesome responsibility of making choices every day that influence the way you and your coworkers feel about working for Goodwill, the way that our customers feel about shopping with us, and the way our participants feel when they walk into a room to get services.

Just recently I have seen…
A store manager cleanup after a child who got sick with the flu all over the sales floor.
A staff member in our administrative department offer to clock in at a store and help accept donations.
A group of staff get together to clean up a mess they didn’t make.
A staff member say, “I don’t know how to do that, but I’ll give it my best shot if that will help you out.”

These fantastic examples happen every day, and we each have the opportunity to be the one to show the pride we take in doing good work; whatever that work might be.

In my opinion, a culture is set by the things we choose to do, not by the things we have to do. I, for one, try to pledge each day to fight against not-my-job-syndrome with my actions.

Join me.

(With gratitude, I acknowledge that the above message was received via email from a Goodwill employee. It is shared with their permission.)

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One Response to Not My Job.

  1. KDN says:

    This is wonderful! A great reminder of the power we have in our actions, words, and attitude.

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