Are people too soft these days? Yes.
When you look back a generation or two, it seems that people were much tougher than they are nowadays. People would walk many miles to secure work. They’d live through brutal winters without complaining.
But these days, people are so entitled that they even think sitting in an office is too much to ask. The work ethic has disappeared. No wonder Western countries are facing such hard times.
What got me thinking about this was a story I read recently about a pub landlord telling job applicants that snowflakes need not apply.
The Queen Anne pub in Warrington, England needed a new chef, so they advertised for one on a sign outside. The sign said: “‘Chef wanted. Please ask inside for details. No snowflakes please!!”.
The landlord had complained of previous employees that were too flaky and always wanted time off.
The landlord wanted hardworking staff and not snowflakes. I can understand his frustration. Even in my lifetime I have seen the work ethic in the UK deteriorate dramatically.
A few years ago, a Polish woman used to clean my apartment once a week. She usually worked around 4–7 pm. On one particular day, I had a small leak under the kitchen sink. The plumber arrived at 5 pm to take a look. He was British. He said it would take two hours to fix, so wouldn’t be able to finish the job that day.
Why couldn’t he finish the job? Because he finished work at 6 pm. So, he did a temporary fix and came back the next day.
After he left, the cleaner asked why he hadn’t fixed the leak properly. I explained that he didn’t work after 6. She was shocked. She told me that her husband was a builder and would never dream of leaving a job half-done. She just couldn’t comprehend it. It could see her point.
At a previous apartment I lived at, an Iranian builder fitted a new front door. There were some problems during the fit. As it was getting late, I suggested he should call it a night and come back the next day. He said he would stay, and ended up finishing about 11 pm.
Now, I don’t expect workmen to work late every night, but if a job goes a little over the end of their workday, why not just stay and fix it?
I worked in the IT industry for most of my life. If there was a problem I’d stay late, even though I didn’t need to. It’s just the right thing to do.
But let me clarify that I don’t expect employers to force employees to work late. But on one-off occasions, why wouldn’t they?
I also see a similar pattern when people are looking for a job. People of my generation and previous ones seemed more willing to move to find work. People still do these days to some extent, but I hear more and more comments along the lines of “Why should I move?”. Well, basically it’s for your own good.
If you can’t be bothered to make an effort to improve your own life, why should anyone else care? But many people do think it’s someone else’s job to give you an easy life.
If anyone doesn’t want to move for work, that’s their choice, but they shouldn’t go complaining to others about it.
The same applies to the job at the pub, mentioned above. If you’re a snowflake, then don’t apply. The pub owner doesn’t owe you a living.