Eradicate WORKPLACE BOREDOM Forever, Part One
Hurry Up and Wait
Anyone who’s ever been on a movie set knows what Hurry up and wait! means. It means that there’s a lot of down-time on a movie production. A production crew typically spends several hours preparing a shot that may take only a few minutes to shoot, and may last only a few seconds in the final edit.
That means, waiting and waiting and waiting. And then, all of a sudden, it’s time to shoot, and everybody runs around in a flurry for 15 minutes. And then it’s back to waiting.
For 20-plus years, I have worked in the Entertainment industry as a performer, writer, director, and producer. And like thousands of us, I supplement that income with gigs in the Food & Beverage Industry, where there is also a lot of down-time. And that means boredom, unless you know how to handle that time.
Currently, I work as a bartender for a popular movie theater chain, where there is, indeed, a lot of down-time. Business is typically slow during the day on weekdays. And then it picks up at night. And then it’s crazy-busy on weekends and holidays.
During weekday shifts, it is not uncommon for our younger staff members to pace around like zombies, occasionally intoning the down-time mantra, “I’m bored.” Those of us of a certain age scream, “DO SOMETHING!” At least, that’s what we say in our minds. In actuality, we typically reply with sympathy: “Yes, I know that feeling.” And then we offer a suggestion, like, “Ya know, when business is slow, and I’m bored, this is what I do.”
And that’s what I’m going to do right now. I’m going to show you how to handle down-time, and how to eradicate workplace boredom forever. Not only in the Food & Beverage Industry, but in any work situation, for the rest of your life.
Three Types Of Action
The first step in alleviating boredom is, in fact, to do something!
Okay, but . . . do what? Let’s discuss the nature of an action; which is what “do something” means, right? It means to perform an action; or to become active, or engaged in an activity.
There are three types of actions:
Which means, you can conceive an idea, develop it, and make a decision about it. These are all mental actions.
Then you can write down these ideas and discuss them with others. These are verbal actions.
And then you can tangibly carry out these ideas. In other words, by physical actions.
The first step in destroying workplace boredom is a mental action; and that is to ask yourself the question . . .
“Why am I here?”
Just meditating on this question, while you’re getting paid, will occupy your mind in productive ways.
“Why am I here?”
You might think the answer to that question is simply, “To make money.” But there’s more to it. So, let’s back up a little.
First, let your mind ponder reasons that don’t have anything to do with money; that have more to do with meaning and purpose. And once again, you can do this on-the-clock during down-times, while you’re cleaning or organizing.
If you’re having trouble getting started with this thought process, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How do I feel about this job?
- Do I like the people I work with?
- Do they like me?
- Do I fit in?
- Am I valued as a worker?
- Do I value my co-workers?
This begs the question . . .
“Who am I here for?”
Generally speaking, your possibilities are:
- “I am here for me.”
- “I am here for them.”
And by “them”, I mean:
- Your boss
- Your co-workers
- Your customers
Legendary sales guru, Zig Ziglar, used to say, “You get what you want by helping other people get what they want.” All productive work boils down to this. It’s not enough to take care of yourself; and it’s not enough to take care of others. You gotta do both at the same time! And to a certain extent, you take care of yourself BY taking care of others.
Your Boss’s Point-Of-View
You take care of your boss by fulfilling (and hopefully exceeding) his (or her) expectations. That is, you do your job well.
He takes care of you by making sure you have all you need to do that job. Which means, training, supervision, and a paycheck.
And speaking of money, it’s important to remember that all jobs boil down to making money for your boss. Sure, he’s paying you to do a job. But if you break more merchandize than you sell, you’ll soon be out of a job. Another way of putting it is, your value to your boss must exceed his value to you.
This bears repeating, because, in my experience, most workers never consider the notion that their presence at work must result in more money for their boss. This scenario — making money for your boss — is the foundation of a career; meaning, a proven track record as a company asset, that gets you the next job, and the next, and the next — for the rest of your life, or until you make enough money to retire.
I will add the obvious caveat here that some bosses are mean, selfish, and dim. They may be incapable of perceiving your value to them. But that’s another topic, which may involve finding a better job.
For now, your takeaway, as we wind up Part One of “Eradicate WORKPLACE BOREDOM Forever” — the solution begins with performing the mental action of considering the points-of-view of your boss, your co-workers, and your customers.
In Part Two
We will consider the points-of-view of your co-workers and your customers, and how performing these mental actions on-the-job will not only eradicate workplace boredom, they will also spark within you feelings of enthusiasm and fun.
I will suggest simple verbal and physical actions that you can take to make your workflow easier and more lucrative. And that means, of course . . .
. . . more money!