Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Low Man on the Totem Pole

Sometimes at work I feel like Rodney Dangerfield: I just can't get no respect. It probably doesn't help that occasionally I'm put in charge of other people and these other people are almost always my seniors by 10 years. This can make for an awkward working arrangement, because telling someone that's been married for 15 years and has a family at home that they're doing things incorrectly when I look like I just stepped off the bus from college seems kind of odd. If we swapped positions would I respect a 24 year old kid telling me how to do my menial task? Meh, probably not.

The idea of respect, in every aspect of life, interests the amateur sociologist in myself. Why do certain groups of people get respect, just because of arbitrary factors? Does the "mature" generation deserve respect just because they're old? That doesn't seem fair. There's probably a whole bunch of crappy people in that generation, so I'd argue the fact that they shouldn't be given a blank check when it comes to respect. (I'm sure Chad could enlighten us with tales of "The Greatest Generation" from his weekend job).

So I toil on, extolling the virtues the "respect should be earned, not given." Meanwhile I continue to attempt to earn the respect of co-workers, by doing my job as flawlessly as possible. Getting respect through hard work seems to be a good path to take.


Ric said...

I tell you, it's difficult to be taken seriously when you're from a younger generation. Granted, I'm not really in charge of anyone ... but it still sucks when you're put in charge of a project, and get overrruled; or your opinions aren't weighed as heavily. Just because you're younger doesn't mean you don't know what you're doing. Respect is a two-way street.

Chad said...

In a related note, I got a raise today. Quite a bit of money too. Looks like more plastic surgery and muscle cars are in my future.

BLaZE said...

That is such a younger sibling thing to say too. I'm sure my younger brother doesn't think elders deserve respect either.

Old people have most likely seen it and done it all. We're better off assuming they earned some cutting of the slack.