I think all of us have experienced this first-hand. You might have read in the news lately that Amazon was accused of being a hostile work environment. I have seen those kind of environments where I have worked. Places in which the average employee feared for their job even though they were competent and valuable. Often things that don’t have “hard” data aren’t measured like anxiety, but it seems clear that if business want to be efficient they should care about these things.
What is amazing is how many companies think that people are interchangeable. I have noticed that many managers think that one person is just as good as another in a job. That is a really simplistic way and untrue to look at it. Someone who is passionate and cares deeply about their work is going to do more in one day than someone who is just collecting a paycheck. Rather than interviews that measure skills, there should be interviews that measure passion and commitment. How would you do this? By asking someone what they are passionate about and by noticing what makes them motivated to get up each day.
I have seen in companies that hire based on educational certifications or skills, that they almost always get a bad worker. Not someone who doesn’t know how to do the job, but someone who doesn’t want to do the job. It is the most common thing to find that a majority of employees hate their job so they do what little they have to get by. I find this surprising. I love what I do and being able to solve problems. For me, I want to come to work because it is a chance to make things better. I find it puzzling that people are satisfied with doing the minimum in life. Its a complex situation, but we all have a role to play in making it better.
I needed a check to pay but don’t have a checkbook. When I asked my bank, it turns out that they can print out 3 checks for $2. A money order or cashiers check is $5 so it’s a big savings. The funny thing is that the check pattern was exactly the same, and the number was the next number in series. So clearly they remember the last check that was used.
Which brings me to my next point. The branch that I was at was closing. It is part of many branches that are closing for many banks. It makes sense. As people do their banking online, clearly all of the local offices don’t need to exist. Eventually it is clear that local offices won’t ever be needed. Cash clearly is dying, and with it the old way of anonymity.
As I spoke to the employee I said that I was sad to see the branch go. However strangely, the employees themselves seem to prefer to not work with customers. In a twist I was at another branch location the day before and when I approached the employee for help he said that I could do the transaction at the ATM. I said I wanted to do the transition with him. Why else would I walk to see him? Why would you tell people that you aren’t necessary? Are bank employees trying to hasten their own demise?