I saw this placard stuck to a window of a expensive mid-size SUV parked in assigned college administration parking yesterday: "I <heart> my S..T job". Along with plethora of bumper stickers promoting a green planet and a child's car seat, this glaring reminder of how some view their jobs - those that have one - really struck a nerve! I was struck at how ballsy it was to have an assigned parking spot with this statement suction cupped to the back driver side window for eight hours at their s..t job on a campus filled with students who would kill to have a state job in Connecticut with it's bountifully benefits and collective bargaining unit!
Then I was struck by how really angry I was that this person thought it okay to declare this as a "badge of honor" along with self promoting a social consciousness with "Go Green" stickers. A real contradiction during a time of economic upheaval in our country where unemployment continues to ebb and flow. Many students come to me asking whether they should just go to grad school instead of looking for work after graduation. I don't know what to tell them: Go ahead, take more classes and build up more debt versus going out to find a S..T job! It'll be okay."
If I was the president at this school and saw this little sign on another administrators car I'd be scrambling to talk with them; but then maybe I'm a little optomistic that someone in a state-held leadership position would give a damn! As a management expert, I'm consistently surprised by the lack of necessary and simple management skills within many organizations (especially public ones) and how complacent people have become regarding happiness and motivation in ones work. A few years ago I had four French students take my management of organizations course. I require each student to write out goals for the term. All of the American students (mostly seniors) wrote, "Find a good job after graduation." ALL of the French students wrote, "To be happy!" I thought WOW! that is very interesting.
So this little display of angst on a fully loaded, fancy schmancy SUV made me think - we could learn a lot from the French and their pursuit of happiness - maybe we should rethink our S..T jobs! We'll see if management is paying attention!