That IS My Job

A friend was recently at an international airport.  When he inquired with a security guard where he could exchange money, the fellow said, “It’s not my job to know where the ATM is located.”

It’s not my job.  Really?

Now, I get it, after a long day of simply coping with our own set of responsibilities and challenges and stressful situations, sometimes the last thing we want to do is assist someone with something that does not fall within our officially designated set of responsibilities.  That doesn’t make it right.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all collectively agree that, no matter what, it IS our job?

I have long held the belief that whatever our pay grade or key deliverables or specific title, whatever it is that the customer needs, it is our responsibility to address that need.  As ambassadors of our organizations, the appropriate mindset should include something like:

  • I am in charge of stellar customer service, irrespective of my actual function within the organization.
  • I am an ambassador of the organization whether I am at work, at home or out in the community.
  • I will hold myself accountable for ensuring the success of my company.

By contrast to my friend’s airport experience, I was recently at a grocery store looking for something obscure.  I asked a clerk where I would find the item.  Though he was in the middle of restocking shelves, without missing a beat, he got up and, with a smile, both told me where I’d find the item and walked me half way across the facility to where it was located.  I was so grateful for his assistance – it saved me time and frustration and I got the merchandise I wanted — win-win-win (for me, for the store, for the clerk).

It turns out that by responding favorably to seeing through a customer request – whether it is or is not part of your job function – does not take much more effort than saying “no.”  By saying “yes,” you will not expend any additional energy, but you will be energized!  It feels great to help others.  It feels great to leave a customer feeling delighted, satisfied, loyal to your organization.  We have these types of decision points throughout our lives… we either choose to be an ambassador or we choose to be a derailer.  When we choose the ambassador route, we, in turn, gain a sense of accomplishment, independence, ownership and happiness.  So, dive in, own it, be the ambassador.  Say, “YES!  That is my job!”

4 thoughts to “That IS My Job”

  1. This blog post is so “on point.” In my profession as a residential real estate agent, there are many things we do to help buyers and sellers that are way out of the scope of our job. We do it to be helpful and to make the entire process run more smoothly. I completely agree with your sentiments — “Well Said!”

    1. Thank you for your comment, Char! I know, first hand, how helpful you are to your clients — you jump in with both feet to assist in any way to make the home buying/selling process seamless from start to finish. It would never even occur to you to say, “Not my job!”

  2. I notice the “That Is My Job” attitude consistently in two places. Grocery stores and London. Your experience is consistent with every grocery store I visit. Management has invested in a Wikipedia-like product training that resides in every employee’s memory banks. They are like cab drivers in London, who have to know every street before getting licensed. Speaking of London, virtually anyone you ask for directions or information, stops on a dime to help as best they can. I need to remember that next time some tourist approaches me in Chicago.

    1. You’re so right, Scott! That can-do, will-do, must-do attitude is one we should all take on — irrespective of our position or geographic locale! Thanks for your insightful commentary. Cheers! –Alana

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