I Couldn’t Hold a Job Today

Category: Social Media Social Good Series

Best Practices

Business Practices today simply stink. I come from show business and I was used to unreturned phone calls and unreturned letters – yes, letters. There really was such a thing! Today there are more and better tools for communication yet simple responses to most missives seems to be harder to get answered than ever before.

Best Practices

We all acknowledge that customer service is long dead. Anyone that has tried to reach a cell-phone provider, general retailer, or God forbid, the government knows the waits, the disconnects, and those beloved automated call menus that rarely work.

We also all acknowledge how the 24/7-culture is pervasive yet getting a returned call or response to an email seems lottery-winning-level likely. I like the sound of that – say it aloud: lottery-winning-level likely.


When I re-entered the work force after a stint as a single dad for several years, I was able to enter it on my own terms. My goals were clear and the need to garner income wasn’t high on the list. I quickly learned to deposit my impatience in the forget-about it files.

My mother used to remind me – regularly – that if I wanted perfect friends that I’d have none. She cautioned me to essentially lighten up on my expectations. It was invaluable wisdom that I chose to ignore much of my youth, but embraced fully in my adulthood.


I wonder how she’d react today if she needed “service” anywhere? She had a way with people but too often “people” aren’t accessible today. Voice menus, voice options, and “go to our website” are regularly available but often inhospitable, especially for anyone the least bit tech-challenged.

My boys are entering – someday soon I hope – the modern day work force. I have no idea how they’ll fare since they are part of that entitled generation and expect to get and have everything they want. Both have expressed disdain for working at any fast-food enterprise. Hmmm, yeah they’ll start at a six-figure income I’m sure.

When I Was Your Age

How about a difficult boss? Will they be able to handle him/her? Oh yeah, just like they “handled” that difficult teacher/professor…with complaints, transfer attempts, or poutiness. That works.

As for me, I’d simply walk away. I can barely handle the slow responses to calls and emails from my friends when the stakes are minimal. If my career path were dependent on today’s so-called business practices? ForgetAboutIt!


Ironic Note: I began writing this column as I was waiting to hear from a friend to confirm lunch. We’d arranged a to meet at noon. It’s now 1:20 and I just got a confirming text. I also have been waiting on an evening appointment confirmation. No response one way or another…

  • jack43

    As a consultant most of my life I had the opportunity to work at many different organizations large and small. Almost everywhere I went I found Dilbert cartoon panels displayed by employees. It’s not surprising. Dilbert seems to capture workplace culture in sharp detail. What was surprising was the fact that bosses laughed as well. Do you suppose that they knew that they were the butt of the jokes?

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      I am convinced @jack43:disqus that those bosses think it’s about OTHER bosses…most people delude themselves about themselves. I know I’m perfect, but most people just aren’t THAT perfect!

  • moondustwriter

    Love the artwork that tells as much as the text. Ive worked in many sectors. I struggle as I watch my adult children being mistreated in the workplace because they have a work ethic.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Sorry @moondustwriter – “work ethic” – what’s that?

  • David Weber

    I’m sometimes slow at returning phone calls.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Ahhh, but YOU have “tenure” so you don’t have to do ANYTHING you don’t want to do, David. Most jobs don’t provide such security (except for government ones)…