Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Before Pic

The original title of this post was going to be 13 Signs You're A Bad Domestic Worker, although that just seemed so offensive, I was concerned that no one would actually ever read it. 

The Before Pic seemed more relevant to our lives, because who among us hasn't, at least once, seen one of those Before/After photo comparisons in a magazine and thought what it would be like to be the After person? The purveyors of those services or products, I believe, were keenly aware that it wasn't enough to just show the After pic, yet also of what we might now be resembling - and should strive to be, no more
OK, so yeah, I'm the Before Pic guy... but I'm still
dressed up nice, isn't that professional enough??


Knowing how to get where one is going, it's critical to know where one now is. The two seem to work pretty well together, yet almost never very well by themselves.

As readers will know, one of my favorite books on the Good Citizen Reading List is How To Be The Employee Your Company Can't Live Without, and I was thinking that as great as the book is, it's really the After pic, and for those who already think they look like the After guy or After gal employee, they'd probably never pick it up and read it... no matter how much they may really need to. Seeing the Before version of a what good employee looks like may be what springs those workers into action; and if they don't aspire to be the best, then maybe not being something resembling the worst will be enough to get the ball rolling.

Positive reinforcement, I believe, is always the best way to keep your staff management efforts on autopilot throughout most times, yet there's just enough evidence within Human Resource Management to let us know that flooding both your staff and oneself with endless streams of adulation and gold medals needs to be carefully balanced out with the occasional reality check of all performance. And aside from the rare domestically staffed estate who's established a workable performance management system of creating standards through the use of employee manuals, job descriptions, regular and honest performance reviews - and their Household Manager then being given actual support by the principals to hold their staff accountable - most workers will benefit from this generic look-see into what not to do, just as much as what to do.

Inspired from the article, 13 Signs You're Actually A Terrible Person, I've simply taken the 13 of my favorite 18 lessons from How To Be The Employee Your Company Can't Live Without, and reversed them into the Before pic: what a worker would look like if, for instance, they'd become either by purpose or by default the employee their domestic estate, in fact, can live without:

1)   Ignore why you need to be indispensable in order to keep your domestic staff job.


2)   Don't bother learning what the Principals or your Estate Manager really want from you. 


3)   Be high-maintenance and whiney.


4)   Don't understand the economic realities of how expensive you are to your estate.


5)   Act like you have no accountability for the service team mission to succeed.


6)   Treat your domestic job carelessly, as if you really don't need it.


7)   Let someone else on your estate be the reliable one.


8)   Make mistakes without really examining what you learned from each of them.


9)   Keep to yourself and don't bother having an opinion which may benefit the estate or your co-workers.


10)  Adopt a me-first work ethic.  Better yet, become a Give Not.


11)  Expect other people to be responsible for your ability to remain employed.


12)  Confuse both your training and your number of years experience with the real knowledge that's important for satisfying the estate owner's needs.


13)  Learn how to make lots of excuses for your failures.




This is probably the part where I should once again pitch the book to you, but the truth is, just like the Before/After pics in all those magazines, it really doesn't matter how much we look at them. 

What matters is the day we actually get ourselves up off the couch and do something about it - and transition successfully from the Before Pic... to the After Pic.


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