The other day, I decided to write a post about the cringe worthy phrase, “that’s not my job” – which can also be read as “I don’t feel like it.” Then, wouldn’t you know it, I said a derivation of that phrase at work this very morning. Not once, but twice! Color me ashamed. After I had spent a couple of days getting myself all worked up over the asinine phrase that is “that’s not my job,” I became my own worst enemy and stabbed myself in the back. You know what? It still hurts.
I wasn’t always out for blood when it came to this phrase. In fact, I’m sure I’ve said it more than I realize. However, lately I’ve been surrounded by “that’s not my job-ers” on so many levels. Whether it be at work, on the train, out to dinner with friends…I can’t seem to escape it. Only now have I started to question why.
True, there are times when “that’s not my job” is entirely applicable. For example, should someone come up to me and request any type of financial report, he or she would get a response in the form of a two-part sequence. First, a deer in headlight look. I’m talking eyes bugged out, pupils dilated from fear, severe clutching of the chair’s arms and all the signs of a scream, but no sound to be heard. Next, after I came to my senses, I’d tell this individual that they must be mistaken as, gasp, this really, actually, truly is not my job. And trust me, you don’t want me to do it.
It’s important to note, though, that the aforementioned phrase is typically not in good taste. Each time I hear someone say it inappropriately, I have to bite my tongue to keep from firing out and asking where in their job description does it say that they will not be asked to do anything that is not strictly outlined there. It oozes entitlement and says a lot about a person’s work ethic. I’m certainly not jumping on the bandwagon of hating my own generation, but when we say things like “that’s not my job” after a year or two in the work force, I can see where the feelings of contention come from. (Which is funny in itself since it’s not like this phrase has an age limit.)
Do yourself a favor and challenge yourself to listen to how often you hear “that’s not my job,” from friends, coworkers, innocent eavesdropping on the commute home, or while perusing a store. I have a feeling it’s more often than you realize.
[Ironically listening to Bad Habit by The Kooks. #fate]