"Give me your arm as we cross the street
Call me at six on the dot
A line a day when you're far away
Little things mean a lot"
I was having a conversation a few days ago with someone, and we were talking about the different types of tasks we do here at YGF. Some are big, some are small. But all are important. It reminded me of something that took place, a long, long time ago, in a business far, far away.
At a company I worked for, I was immersed in my daily project management activities on a couple of different projects. There was a third project that needed help, so they decided to bring in someone new to assist. I can’t remember her name now, so let’s just call her Becky to make the story flow a bit more easily.
Becky seemed nice, and I had some pleasant conversations with her. I had guessed that she was either my age, or a few years younger. After a week or two, she began to stop by my desk, complaining about the task she had been given. The task? Three-hole punch and assemble in proper order into a binder several thousand sheets of legal documents that the legal department needed for a case they were working on. She hated it.
“I have a Masters Degree! I shouldn't be doing things like this!” Becky vented to me at my desk.
I shrugged her off and got back to work. The next week my manager came up to me and asked if I could take over the hole-punching, binder situation. Becky didn't work out, so they let her go. I wasn't surprised. You can’t go to work with the “I’m better than this” attitude. You can’t be successful if you’re not willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. And sometimes that means making copies, taking notes, grabbing lunch from the cafeteria for someone so they can finish up those slides for the meeting in 30 minutes, and, yes, even three-hole punching a few thousand sheets of paper.
Learn how to do everything. Learn how to be of service to others. Learn to help. Because it all matters. In another company I worked for, my boss, a VP, was the only VP to walk past his secretary and make a new pot of coffee because she was busy doing other things. It wasn't beneath him to help out.
So, Becky lost her job and I had some really easy work to do for several days. (Turns out that Becky had hole-punched and bound the papers incorrectly – backward, out of order, and upside down, too, so maybe she truly shouldn't have been doing it!)