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In the workplace, I have been called mean on several occasions. Never from a guest or patron; but I have a tendency to be brusque with my co-workers. The main reason being an extreme disdain for the acute lack of competence.

I am a firm advocate of the concept that one must actually care about the task set before them to actually complete it with mastery. In hospitality circles, when the rank and file gossip inevitably ensues I always begin my critique with two criteria. The first of which, is the foundation of vocation in general. Can you at least do your job? It may sound like a silly question, but living and working in places where form routinely dominates function I find myself cast with people who simply don’t know how to do their job – they just look the part. Secondly, do you care? Is the task you are performing important to you, or are you just going through the motions, thinking about your audition or your cat.

I find that if someone is competent and they care – I can respect them and will rarely have any issues with them in the workplace. Yet, when this foundation is not present, I find it hard to both hold my tongue and perform my own actions. This is usually to my own detriment. I believe that preparation holds a monetary value, because it takes time which equates to money. The root of most incompetence lies in a lack of preparation, a lack of the desire for mastery.

Issues with incompetence are almost always failures on behalf of management, or the complete lack of. It is the responsibility of management to set the standard, and ensure the adherence. I have often been told that I am like a different person when i’m at work, and I think that is something that I relish in. Obviously  I am having a great time, smiling, joking, and enjoying myself, yet I am focused on representing myself and the products I’m working with in the best possible fashion. This to me far is more enjoyable than having a conversation about a television show.

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