There are a few things that drive me crazy about employees and co-workers, and having heard enough other people complain over the years, I know I am not alone in these. As a public service, here are some tips on how not to suck at work.
1. Understand that you were hired to do your entire job. Yes, even the parts that don't interest you personally. Even if there are parts of your job that require you to do things you don't want to do, like getting up early, commuting in rush hour traffic, wearing a suit. You were hired for a whole job. Even if you are a part-time employee, they still expect you to do your whole job, and yet the world is FULL of people who want to pick and choose the parts of the job they will do.
Recently, I knew someone looking for an assistant. Countless people said things like,
"I want the job, but I can't do the part that involves traveling."
"I could do the traveling but I could not do the part that involves driving around town to pick up and drop off things."
"I could only work until 3 p.m. "
Then you don't want the job, because all of those things are part of it. There are people who will take a position and then just not do the parts that don't appeal to them personally or do a really shitty job on those parts, with the excuse "I needed the money."
Those people are assholes.
Let me explain how not to be them. If you are not the sole employee, it is likely that there are people who like the exact part of the job that you hate. If your boss approves, make a deal with them. For example, I hate getting up early. Most places where I have worked, there is at least one person who gets up at 5:30 a.m. and would love to teach the 8 a.m. class, take the shift that begins at 7 a.m. Instead of dragging in at 9:30 for my 7 a.m. shift (suck), I trade hours so that they always get to leave at 3 p.m, I don't have to come in until 10 a.m. when I am somewhat functional, and everyone is happy.
2. Don't miss work, come in late, miss an appointment or fail to get an assignment done using the excuse, "I was too busy." This just drives me nuts. YOU were too busy? So I'm supposed to complete the report, write the program, pick up the mail or whatever it is that you were too busy to do? Because I'm just sitting here doing nothing? Presumably, your coworkers are also busy people. Now they are busy people who think you are an asshole.
3. Don't use not knowing how to do something as an excuse not to do your job. Let me explain how all of the other people in the world who did not exit the birth canal with a knowledge of Google apps and software development kits figured it out:
- They read these paper things with black squiggles. We call them "books".
- I have heard that you can find lots of information on the Internet. If what you seek is not on wikipedia, don't despair. There are other websites.
- AFTER having tried to figure it out for themselves, they talked to other people.
Don't abuse the privilege, however, or you may find your email answered with something like this.
How do you know when to ask for help and when to do it yourself? Here is a good flowchart for making that decision:
- Figure out how long it will take YOU to find the answer.
- Figure out how long it will take the person you ask to find the answer.
If the two numbers are equal, do it yourself, for God's sake. Otherwise, you are just asking the person to do your job.
- Divide your salary into your estimation of the other person's salary.
- If it would take you twice as along to do it, but he or she makes twice as much money as you, figure it out yourself.
The net gain to the organization in dollars will be zero and you will take the other person away from their work. They are probably doing this calculation in their head and figuring it costs the company the same for them to figure it out as you but now they are doing it instead of their own work and they think you suck.
If it will take me half an hour to modify the code to show a message when a student gives the incorrect answer, then I don't want you spending 40 hours figuring it out. Even if I am somewhat irritated to have my own work interrupted, I can calculate the benefit to the organization of me taking the time to answer the question.
Hopefully, these three tips will bring you a little bit in the not sucking direction.
If you yourself do not suck at work and have additional advice to proffer, please do include it in the comments.
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This is what I do as a job, games to teach math.
You can buy one. It will make you smarter. If you are already maximally smart, give it to a dumb person you know.