On my way to work, I walked by a restaurant with a sign posted, “Due to the recession, we were forced to close our business.”
Who else out there is tired of everyone whining and using the recession as the scapegoat?
The restaurant was called ‘Medicine.’ Maybe they were forced to close because of very bad branding? Who wants to go to a place where the food tastes like medicine? Maybe they had a bad business model, a bad marketing program, bad management. Possibly? You think? No, of course not. It’s obviously the recession’s fault. Just blame it on the recession.
Then there are the unemployed, whining because they got laid off. Maybe you were an underperformer? Quite possibly? No one thinks to question their performance, scratching their heads, “I have no idea why I got laid off. It’s so not fair!” Maybe because you suck?!
I’ve been there. In 2001, I was working for a startup. It was on financial life support. The company wasn’t making any money. We weren’t closing any deals. And everyone was making really good money. Hmmmm, how long can a company afford to pay high salaries without making a profit! I got laid off in the second or third round of layoffs. I knew my skills weren’t critical. There were other peers who performed better.
I was lucky. I saw the writing on the wall and knew I was destined to walk the technology plank. I took action and applied to business school when layoffs started. A few weeks after I was laid off, I got accepted to b-school. It worked for me because I planned it that way.
But I know for a fact that if the plan hadn’t worked, I would have pounded the pavement for a job. With the exception of two friends who were laid off, I don’t see anyone else pounding the pavement. And hence…their situation.
I blogged about this story previously, but it is worth repeating here.
Last night before the movie, I went to one of the food kiosks at the Metreon. While waiting for my food, a man walked in bundled up in a sweatshirt and baseball cap; his hands were stuffed in his pockets. He was speaking Spanish. I don’t know Spanish or understand it which is a horrible thing as a California girl. I hate to admit it. But I was able to piece together what he was saying. He wanted a job and he’d been walking throughout the Metreon asking managers if they were hiring. The cashier told him they were not. He insisted he speak to the manager. The manager came out and chatted with him in Spanish. “I’m sorry sir, we do not have a kitchen here. We’re not hiring and even if we were, we don’t hire cooks. We heat up the food.” The man looking for a job kept asking questions, did the manager know of anything, could the manager talk to anyone at the Metreon? Anything at all? While nothing came of the conversation, I felt so proud of that immigrant. What persistence! That is what makes America truly great: people from all walks of life who are ready and willing to work hard and seek out those opportunities.
Take responsibility, people. Own up to your situation and make the necessary changes. Stop making excuses lest we all wear signs on our backs, “Due to every single excuse I can think of, this is the life that I lead.”