Why Did I Pay You?

dollar signs  It wasn’t about the $250 amount I paid you, it was for a service that you failed to deliver that bothers me.  What sounded like a fair trade for services rendered, turned into a rip off because you cashed my check, but only returned lip service for the past 7 months on why you have not been able to meet the obligation.

Have you ever paid for a service and not received it?  Chances are that it has not happened to that many people, and when it does happen a brief conversation with the provider is usually enough to prompt action.  I have agreed to numerous pay for performance agreements in my work life history and have not been completely ripped off before like I have this time.  Yet the amount has me wondering how much farther I should push back.  If it was $1000 I might go to small claims court to collect, but I can’t see wasting anymore money or time for such a small amount.

Yet you don’t have to be an independent contractor to have paid for a service not received.  You can be an employer that pays salary or hourly wages that get very little in exchange.  There are a lot of employees that don’t provide a day’s work in exchange for a day’s pay.  And yet we watch the employer do little to change the circumstances.

“Free money comes from the government”, a neighbor told me.  He happens to be on several programs and is skilled at collecting money without working at all.  Yet I responded that even that money comes from taxpayers so it is not free.  “It is free to me, because I don’t work and pay taxes” he said, and I was stumped as to what to say next.  I am working, paying taxes and what do you know, I am paying my neighbor to do nothing too!

Regardless of recent events, I am really glad to have a work ethic gene.  I like to earn money in exchange for services rendered.  And if anyone ever paid me and didn’t get their money’s worth, I wouldn’t hesitate to make things right.  Maybe I’m just weird.

Why is Experience so Under Rated?

22A bank CEO was heard to say that “there is a lot of gray in our management team.  I believe that experience keeps us from making mistakes and helps us to be successful.”  If I revealed the name of this bank, hundreds of Baby Boomers would be sending them their resumes!

This CEO is an impressive lady with an equally impressive career, but her take on the human resources side of the business is really thinking outside the box.  While many of her counterparts are thinking about how to attract the youngest worker possible with the least amount of experience, she sees value in tenure.

Experience does cost more to obtain, not only in the initial search, but in a compensation package.  Yet experienced personnel can save companies money in the long run from making costly mistakes.  Experience often comes with a bit more caution and a deeper set of skills.  It also is retiring from the workforce at about 10,000 employees a day in this country.

So why is experience so under rated by most companies?  Well for many it is the price tag.  Saving 25% on salary and benefits can look good on a balance sheet.  But after a couple of years of waiting for performance because you are also waiting for them to learn their job, you have to ask yourself if they were such a bargain in the end?

Experienced staff will also hold management accountable.  They know how things are supposed to work, so wage and hour laws, workplace harassment, and illegal employment practices are not allowed to happen under their watch.  If you want to circumvent these laws, hire inexperienced people.

Recently I read a great article that rebutted the notion that Baby Boomers were not as tech savvy as the younger worker.  He went on to remind us that they began a career with land line phones and typewriters.  They had to learn how to operate a pager and calling card.  They learned how to use the first PC and every update since that day.  They learned how to use the first cell phones, hand-held devices for email, and every other piece of technology since they started working.  They actually have a longer resume of technology use than the generation that got a smart phone at birth.

But here is what I think is the real reason that experience is so under rated.  The CEO I introduced this blog with is a Servant Leader and has no problem surrounding herself with people who may know something she doesn’t.  Her focus is on building a superior bank, period.  Other “leaders” are more self-serving and do not want people around them that might show them up.  They want people who make them look good and keep the spotlight pointing at themselves.

While the Baby Boomer generation is currently retiring at about 10,000 people a day, we will always have a workforce that is made up of experienced and inexperienced people.  My advice is to take a chance on hiring more gray hair, you might be surprised at the results.

Proud to be an American

1024x768_7  I can remember a time when it was okay to be openly proud to be an American.  It was okay to support American values that dated back to the founding of this country, and to be in awe of how brave early Americans were in establishing this country in a break with England.  I am proud of how far this country has come since its founding, and its desire to achieve better a America for each generation.

However, as we approach July 4th this year, I feel that there are too many people living in this country that no longer feel pride.  They are happy with the opportunities, but they no longer want America to mean anything special to those that live here or around the world.

I’ll admit I learned about patriotism from my parent, grand parents, aunts and uncles.  I was in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.  I grew up in a world that celebrated America.  My first Presidential election was when Ronald Reagan ran for President, and I can remember listening to his passion for this country and what we all needed to do and feel as Americans. I was never prouder to be an American.

After 911, I remember being frightened for the first time in my life, and yet our President led us through this time as one nation fighting against a common threat.  Together we overcame adversity and fear.

Today there seems to be more people condemning America and its traditions than there are supporters, and most of these people are US Citizens.  Yes, freedom of speech prevails.  I just wish a few more of us spoke of what is good about America rather than what is bad.