Is work ethic a thing of the past?

Oldscruggsfan

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Yesterday, literally in the midst of supervising a time- sensitive project during which a backhoe operator had unintentionally ruptured a sanitary sewer drain line, one of my son’s coworkers who is a newly- hired and allegedly experienced project engineer suddenly looked at his watch at 1:20 PM and announced that he needed to meet a guy at his apartment to set up WiFi service.

To my son’s amazement, the engineer then left the site and never returned to resume project supervision. My son’s frame of reference is numerous nights supervising projects that were too near completion to halt at 5:00 PM because they had entailed the temporary shutdown of a portion of an industrial production process.

The questions that come to my mind are numerous but are my son and myself simply expecting too much of others?
 
Great question. I’m guessing your answers will depend on the age of the person answering your question lol. Just guessing.
Fair point :giggle: . For added context, my engineer son is 30. His oblivious- to- obligations coworker is slightly older, with a decade of alleged industrial experience.
I’m certain that WiFi service can be set up on a weekend and shouldn’t have taken more than one hour to complete.
Had the guy needed to drive his spouse to dialysis (etc), that would of course be an entirely different matter but would still beg the question of why he’d started the project on a day he knew he couldn’t commit his full and unwavering attention.
 
Fair point :giggle: . For added context, my engineer son is 30. His oblivious- to- obligations coworker is slightly older, with a decade of alleged industrial experience.
I’m certain that WiFi service can be set up on a weekend and shouldn’t have taken more than one hour to complete.
Had the guy needed to drive his spouse to dialysis (etc), that would of course be an entirely different matter but would still beg the question of why he’d started the project on a day he knew he couldn’t commit his full and unwavering attention.
if he's educated as an engineer, he should be able to set up his own wifi. I'm a nobody and can do all that hard stuff...like following the directions on the back of the box lol(as a last resort of course). I'm guessing he realized he'd created quite a mess and didn't want to deal with the clean up or consequences, or realized he was over his skis. Hopefully in some way, there are consequences for such an action.
 
Some of it is generational peer influence and some of it I think is from their parents/grandparents instillation (or not) of work ethic. I managed 5 inbound call centers working 12 hour days for 10 years and was amazed at how most of the team had no problem leaving on time no matter what was unfinished. I tried to explain to them that I worked long hours because I was not only responsible for them but even more so responsible to them which they could not grasp nor could the managers I reported to.

Where I am now as a clerk (blissfully not management) I sit and shake my head when coworkers leave early or come in late for crazy reasons like getting haircut, taking dog to groomer (true activity), having tummy ache, etc. Most of them are half my age, but I still think its more how they were raised as a few will get the job done no matter what it takes even when derided by their coworkers for doing so.
 
Some of it is generational peer influence and some of it I think is from their parents/grandparents instillation (or not) of work ethic. I managed 5 inbound call centers working 12 hour days for 10 years and was amazed at how most of the team had no problem leaving on time no matter what was unfinished. I tried to explain to them that I worked long hours because I was not only responsible for them but even more so responsible to them which they could not grasp nor could the managers I reported to.

Where I am now as a clerk (blissfully not management) I sit and shake my head when coworkers leave early or come in late for crazy reasons like getting haircut, taking dog to groomer (true activity), having tummy ache, etc. Most of them are half my age, but I still think its more how they were raised as a few will get the job done no matter what it takes even when derided by their coworkers for doing so.
Yup. Groupthink oozes toward the lowest common denominator. “Dude, you got to stop working’ so hard/ fast. You’re makin’ the rest of us look bad.” Meanwhile, there remains no limit to what can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.
 
Yesterday, literally in the midst of supervising a time- sensitive project during which a backhoe operator had unintentionally ruptured a sanitary sewer drain line, one of my son’s coworkers who is a newly- hired and allegedly experienced project engineer suddenly looked at his watch at 1:20 PM and announced that he needed to meet a guy at his apartment to set up WiFi service.

To my son’s amazement, the engineer then left the site and never returned to resume project supervision. My son’s frame of reference is numerous nights supervising projects that were too near completion to halt at 5:00 PM because they had entailed the temporary shutdown of a portion of an industrial production process.

The questions that come to my mind are numerous but are my son and myself simply expecting too much of others?
Holy smokes...
I can't believe he just up and left.

Now, my wife gets on me a bit when I say this but these types of stories underscore my thoughts.

This just ISN'T the country i grew up in anymore.
 
The Workers and what The Employers do, who they hire, how they mange etc and how things go today. That's why I retired a year and half early.
It's a mess out there. Some places are worse than others.... it's one giant mess. Not enough GOOD workers and subpar management.

Yes things have changed in the last several years.
 
This thread does not provide nearly enough details to draw any conclusion.

For example, is this to meet a friend or have a company hook it up (like ukulele deliveries, you better be there...). Was this prearranged with the boss and understood that he would not return? Does he have a family and older parents that he has to take care of and ... etc., etc., etc...............

The only conclusion I draw is that the OP has a son to be proud of.
 
Yesterday, literally in the midst of supervising a time- sensitive project during which a backhoe operator had unintentionally ruptured a sanitary sewer drain line, one of my son’s coworkers who is a newly- hired and allegedly experienced project engineer suddenly looked at his watch at 1:20 PM and announced that he needed to meet a guy at his apartment to set up WiFi service.

To my son’s amazement, the engineer then left the site and never returned to resume project supervision. My son’s frame of reference is numerous nights supervising projects that were too near completion to halt at 5:00 PM because they had entailed the temporary shutdown of a portion of an industrial production process.

The questions that come to my mind are numerous but are my son and myself simply expecting too much of others?
There's a tiktok video of a young gal complaining about the old colonial racist patriarchy of being on time for work everday. In current cultural marxist agitprop, she explained this culture "needs to be dismantled immediately".
 
Some of it is generational peer influence and some of it I think is from their parents/grandparents instillation (or not) of work ethic. I managed 5 inbound call centers working 12 hour days for 10 years and was amazed at how most of the team had no problem leaving on time no matter what was unfinished. I tried to explain to them that I worked long hours because I was not only responsible for them but even more so responsible to them which they could not grasp nor could the managers I reported to.

Where I am now as a clerk (blissfully not management) I sit and shake my head when coworkers leave early or come in late for crazy reasons like getting haircut, taking dog to groomer (true activity), having tummy ache, etc. Most of them are half my age, but I still think its more how they were raised as a few will get the job done no matter what it takes even when derided by their coworkers for doing so.
It's subversion and creation of the future underclass.
 
Yesterday, literally in the midst of supervising a time- sensitive project during which a backhoe operator had unintentionally ruptured a sanitary sewer drain line, one of my son’s coworkers who is a newly- hired and allegedly experienced project engineer suddenly looked at his watch at 1:20 PM and announced that he needed to meet a guy at his apartment to set up WiFi service.

To my son’s amazement, the engineer then left the site and never returned to resume project supervision. My son’s frame of reference is numerous nights supervising projects that were too near completion to halt at 5:00 PM because they had entailed the temporary shutdown of a portion of an industrial production process.

The questions that come to my mind are numerous but are my son and myself simply expecting too much of others?
No, you’re not expecting too much. The young have ZERO work ethic in my experience.

A college friend of mine (in other words, my age, mid-70s), has a small but very respected law firm in DC. He hired a young woman associate with great law school grades and judicial internships and personal references, and he had great hopes he might be able to retire and hand off to her eventually.

But … she came in late every day, took lunch from noon to 3 or later, then left early every day. This continued for weeks until my friend sat her down for a talk. Seems she was consistently late to work in the a.m., then driving home to suburbia for several hours mid-day, then rushing to get home in the afternoon … in order to walk and spend quality time with her dog.
 
No, you’re not expecting too much. The young have ZERO work ethic in my experience.

A college friend of mine (in other words, my age, mid-70s), has a small but very respected law firm in DC. He hired a young woman associate with great law school grades and judicial internships and personal references, and he had great hopes he might be able to retire and hand off to her eventually.

But … she came in late every day, took lunch from noon to 3 or later, then left early every day. This continued for weeks until my friend sat her down for a talk. Seems she was consistently late to work in the a.m., then driving home to suburbia for several hours mid-day, then rushing to get home in the afternoon … in order to walk and spend quality time with her dog.
Wow! Taking time off the clock (e.g. stealing from your employer) to spend time with a pet….
Were I her (former) employer, I’d sincerely hope her sweet and lovable dog has a special talent which will enable her to buy groceries when her unemployment benefits expire.

My attorney daughter also adores her dog but that never prevents her from working a minimum of 60 hours each week. She also worked part time all 3 years of law school as did her brother during engineering school. When her law “advisor” suggested that she quit the part time job to focus on her studies, she responded, “OK, and then are YOU gonna pay my tuition and rent?”

As the old saying goes, she was raised right. (and her mom gets full credit for that.)
 
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Not enough context to know who the person is or just how important that WiFi installation was. Suppose it wasn't related to playing fortnite with his friends but was the first chance his mother would have to speak to her grandkids from a hospital bed after surgery? Not suggesting there isn't a general decline in work ethics overall. I just think everyone is an individual with lives and reasons for doing what we do and being who we are. I believe most people are good. The best way to train a boss is to take her/his job.
 
For decades - and for various reasons - a lot of people constantly worked long, hard hours, often forfeiting vacation/time off … and, in the process, sacrificed their health, their marriages, and their relationships with friends and family. I suspect that one of the reasons behind the current reduction in strong work ethics is simply the result of the pendulum now swinging in the opposite direction. We humans don”t seem to be very good at staying in the middle phase of life’s pendulum swings. :)
 
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I believe this is a self regulating scenario. Think of it as Darwinism applied to the social contract. Those that, for one reason or another, fail to meet societie's norms and expectations will fall by the wayside and be discarded.
That said, the social contract and it's underlying norms and expectations are a moving target.
 
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