Incompetent Employees

The following hypothesis might explain why an employee at a bathing suit store recently asked me, as I was perusing a rack of bathing suits, if I was shopping for a bathing suit.

I have mentioned before that I got fired when I was fifteen from an athletic shoe store. The manager told me that I wasn’t outgoing enough. If I’d had the balls I have today I’d have asked him to compare my sales numbers with my co-workers’, but maybe that’s just because in my older years I’ve come to enjoy making people uncomfortable.

I bring up the fact that I was canned to express frustration over how many people DON’T get canned for doing really, really bad work. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen how shoddily a co-worker has performed their duties only for them to skim under the radar or get lucky time and time again with the lack of oversight from their supervisors.

My husband and I have talked about this at length and have come to the conclusion that most people are fairly incompetent. That is, most can DO their jobs, but few can do it very well. Just think of all the companies you’ve done business with to order an item, retrieve information or request a service only to have the employees seriously fail to do what is very likely their only job description.

In most places of work there is a three-month probation period that I have yet to see taken advantage of. I don’t know if bosses hate the hiring process so much that they just let it go and hope the idiot employee just gets better, or if they are so incompetent themselves that they don’t see it in someone else. I would venture that it’s a combination of both, plus the embarrassment at having to admit they’d wasted company resources hiring and training said idiot due to a serious lack of good judgment. Anyway, it’s unfair for all those people who need jobs and can work well.

I think a lot of people fall into jobs out of pure chance or necessity and perhaps weren’t created specifically for it. In fact, I would call that the majority given the number of people I have met who would say they are not working in their dream job. This isn’t a particularly bad thing. However, it becomes a terrible waste when a person lacks the work ethic and integrity to at least make their best effort on the job.

I know the reason many people keep their jobs or get promoted despite not being good in the first place is often because they are either well-liked, or because they are unethical. Being popular and/or having no scruples often does wonders for one’s career.

I would switch with Stephenie Meyer any day. That is, mine isn’t my dream job. But I hope that most days I come into work I take pride in what I do, both for my own fulfillment and for the satisfaction of those who pay me well to do it. I don’t want anybody saying “CRACKERS, that Laura sucks ASS” behind my back, because if they did then I’d have to take a good long look at how grateful I am for having a job at all.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Incompetent Employees

  1. john

    Laura:

    i get it. I see that your tongue is part Flame thrower.

  2. shawna

    I, for one, have been known to, on occasion, spout, “CRACKERS! That Laura is awesome….”

  3. Igo

    The problem is, when you slack you are not helping your co-workers at all. The worst job I’ve ever done for the current employer was due to the production request, or when they brought a suckASSexpert to guide me. I learned that, in fact, most of the management is incompetent. It is quite embarrassing and unpleasant experience when you cannot explain yourself to co-workers you respect.

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