Or… it’s just a job. Anyone who thinks either of these thoughts often, perhaps more than once, should be considered for flogging, a firing squad, or cruel and unusual punishment. Especially if they utter those thoughts out loud. That won’t happen, of course, because one can’t punish someone for what they haven’t said, or, in the case of these two utterances, for those particular words.
I cannot recall exactly how many times I’ve heard someone, usually an executive, businessperson, politician, or administrator, make the comment, usually after being confronted about the impact of an act or policy they’ve just put in place, “It’s not personal.” Or “Don’t take it personally.” None of them seem to get or perhaps want to admit that ANY act or policy that affects someone else adversely is in fact very personal, whether intended or not. That’s not to say that sometimes such acts are necessary. Reductions in force when sales have plummeted are often necessary, but claiming it’s not personal is not only cowardly and despicable, but also reinforces the idea that those affected are not even “persons”; such words suggest that they’re disposable widgets.
Likewise, for someone to excuse poor performance, lack of performance, or lack of initiative in doing a job with the statement that “it’s just a job,” is equally despicable and dishonorable. Someone is paying for the job to be done. If that job has to be redone, or doing it late or not at all creates problems for someone else, whoever didn’t do the job right has committed a form of theft. Again, I’ve heard similar words, and certainly seen people acting as if they’d said those words, all too many times in recent years. Part of that may be because those acting in that fashion have been treated like disposable widgets, but can’t get, or feel they can’t get, better jobs or positions, and they feel disposed to do the minimum required, because, to them, it’s “just a job.”
The bottom line is simple, and all too often forgotten. Jobs are not just jobs, and anything that affects the people who are doing them or affected by them is indeed personal. And that’s something that too many employers and organizational bureaucrats have forgotten, which has led to too many workers taking the same attitude – and, in the end, everyone suffers.