Music blared through the headphones hanging around his neck as he walked out the office door. He had just been fired. His employment lasted less than thirty minutes. The company I work for hires temporary labor on occasion. This time they needed an extra hand in the warehouse, loading and unloading product from delivery trucks.
Our lead warehouse technician walked through my office area and I heard him say, “Fire that guy. I don’t want him here any longer.” The warehouse manager asked what was going on. Later I heard the complete story.
This worker didn’t display any ambition or desire to work. He was standing on one end of the warehouse swaying to the rhythm playing in his ears while everyone else was on the other end of the warehouse unloading a truck. The lead warehouse technician yelled, “Hey, what are you doing? We’re all down here working.” The fool (in the Proverbs sense of the word) replied, “No one told me what to do.”
The lead warehouse tech said, “Can’t you see us down here sweating? Get off the sidelines and into the game.” The fool walked over and started working half heartedly, his music still playing in his ears.
I related this story to my boys and said, “Boys, don’t be like that guy. Show up ready to work. If you don’t know what to do, ask someone. Ask, ‘What can I do next? Where should I go now?’ Don’t ever just be standing there waiting to be told what to do. Don’t be like that. And don’t show up for work with earphones. You’re there to work not listen to music.”
I don’t know anything else about that temporary worker. Maybe he didn’t have parents to teach him how to work. If so, I feel sorry for him. I really do. It’s a tragedy for a young man to grow up without knowing how to engage at a jobsite. It a tragedy for the young man, for the company he works for, and for society at large.
And so, my advice to young men everywhere – boys, don’t be like that guy.