This topic has been on my list for a long time. It is another example, among many, where Melissa and I have been surprised at the actions of employees and we have learned something along the way. “Your momma doesn’t work here” might be the start of certain admonitions, such as “Your momma doesn’t work here, clean up after yourself.” And, we experienced that in the form of dirty dishes left in the office kitchen. I mean, really, who at the office is going to clean up after you? Plus, we don’t want to see, or smell, your mess for hours after your lunch or cup of coffee. It is just common courtesy. Then, as written previously, “Your momma doesn’t work here – so we’re not going to be asking her for permission for you to travel!” It’s pretty simple. Then there was the time an employee had her mother call in sick for her. Again, your momma doesn’t work here; calling in sick is the employee’s job except in life threatening or other dramatic situations. As the employer, one needs to hear it from the employee – for so many reasons. And, not that we didn’t trust that employee; we did trust her more than most. Imagine though, allowing someone else to make that call. As an employer, one can only wonder what is really going on behind the scenes. Plus, one can’t discuss work in process, how ill the person is, when they will return, etc. with anyone other than the employee. It is certainly difficult to separate life and work, but efforts should be made to minimize bringing family into a workplace in any of these types of ways.
Readers of David’s and my post may think we sometimes “color the truth” to exaggerate the experiences we have had as employers, small business owners, and consultants with attorneys as clients. We don’t. It’s all true. The truth is, in many instances, more wacky than any story I could invent! I often think of my friend, Bob (or as he is now called, Bobby) who owns a restaurant and employs many people, many of whom lack a college degree. I don’t know how he does it! All of Magnus’ employees have, at a minimum, some college education, with most of them having a 4 year degree, and others, a master’s, law degree, or Ph.D. One would think that education is related to common sense, work ethic, and personal responsibility, but based on David’s and my first hand experiences with employees, I can say, with certainty, that these characteristics are unrelated. As for “Your momma doesn’t work here,” I am astounded by the babying that goes on in some adults’ lives. Imagine not cleaning up after oneself in an office environment, waiting endlessly for someone to wash the dirty dishes left in the sink! Or, having the sniffles one morning and having Mommy Dearest call David to inform him that the 25 year old “baby” can’t make it to work! Oh my! Buck up, people! Accept some responsibility for yourself. Unless your momma works for Magnus, you will have to answer to David and me on all work related matters. As with many things in life, think about the impression you make before you do something that, many years later, your harried boss will still remember. Think about it.