June 28, 2006

1. The most obvious Beckett lesson concerns tenacity. Hanging in there in the face of repeated, abject, and heart-wrenching failure is the trait that distinguishes those who do the biting from those who are the bitten in today’s bare-knuckle bear pit. History shows that, in business life, those who accept failure, learn from it, and absolutely refuse to be beaten by it are those who win in the end.

– Stephen Brown, “Fail Better: Samuel Beckett’s Secrets of Business and Branding Success.” – March-April issue of Business Horizons.

These are trying times for me. I knew going back to work was going to be a challenge, especially in an area that I have no training for whatsoever. What I didn’t know was how difficult the dynamics of this workplace would be, or how the procedures fly in the face of everything I think is proper and ethical. Of course, I can’t bring up examples because it’d be too easy to find me, and no one really enjoys reading about examples of what’s going wrong at work. But the bigger reason is I don’t want to become dooced.

Regardless of the specific struggles I go through at work, the temptation to quit is strong. There’s only a few things that keep me there. One is a sense of loyalty to a business and the people it serves. That comes from my theatre background where I’ve been instructed since I was in high school to never quit, always show up no matter what. There were exceptions, but if you had a cold, you still show up for rehearsal, or the performance. I’m quite dedicated to the organizations I work with, and am not afraid to stay beyond my regular shift or to go out of my way to make people happy. Several people have commented about leaving this place, even more talk about how strong the possibilities are of the house being cleaned in the fall. Because of this fear of being let go or the wanting to let go, they almost forget that they’re still working at this place. You can’t give up working because you don’t want to work. You still have a job to do until you quit or get fired. I try my best even though I’m tempted to give up myself.

The other reason is a manager who is actually motivating and pushes me. I’ve never had a boss do that for me before. Usually, it’s just management, not leadership. Tell me when to work and what to do while at work, but never engaging me to do a better job than I’m already doing. I think it’s great about how much this person is around and talking to me, but others aren’t liking it at all. It’s interesting to me how people respond to motivation. It seems the majority just want to keep doing what they’ve always been doing.

But not me. I look forward to the changes being made and the personal challenges given to me. As long as I don’t get fired first.

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