I have a confession to make. And I also have to admit that I am rather proud of it.
I am a big giant suck up.
My mom refers to me as a “brown noser”. (I hate that term.)
I have always been his way. Through school, college, and even my first job.
I almost always make the impression to my superiors that I am 100% reliable and hardworking. And that is not a total lie. But it is probably more like 85%. Which, in my head, is still probably more of an effort than 50% of the other people in the world put forth. (If you are a reader of my blog, I am positive that you fall into the hardworking 50% category 😉
And there is a lot of hard work at the beginning to establish that reputation. You have to be reliable, dependable, dedicated. You have to go above and beyond when you see chances to. And I have this thing that when I work somewhere, especially if I work primarily by myself, I tend to think of the business as if it were my own.
No. I don’t mean that I go out and order 500 reams of copier paper or do lunches on the company credit card. I have never had a position where I was important enough to have a company credit card.
I mean that I try to keep my desk/store clean and tidy. I respect the resources/equipment that are available to me. If I abuse them and they break, that just makes my job harder in the long run. I try to capitalize on any chance to fill in dull times with busy work.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my “sit-around-&-do-nothing” time as much as the next guy. In order to be a proper suck up, you must always complete your work promptly when there is actual work to be done. And the quicker you get it done, the sooner you can do nothing. I don’t ask for more work. Instead, I try and appear to be busy all the time. Looking busy when you are not can be work too.
So, I guess what it boils down to is, it is a lot of work to be a suck up.
But it can pay off. If there is a fun task or free stuff, sometimes being a suck up, you are the first person to pop into your superior’s heads. You get watched less. You get more freedom, because they believe you will not abuse it. And you can abuse it a little and usually no one notices. (Of course I don’t mean things like taking money. In an interview, I always list one of my faults as being “too honest”.) But I mean things like standing around talking a few minutes longer than I should. If you are on someone’s mental goody-goody list already, it does not seem as though it is as big of an issue.
I guess being a good worker somehow got ingrained in me. So even when I think that I am goofing off, other people probably don’t see it that way. I am very internally judgmental of my co-workers who are habitually late or slacking. They are not playing my game. They are not putting on a show.
Maybe sucking up works for me because I don’t just put on a show. I actually back it up with real work.
If I am such a wonderful worker, why did it take me so long to find a new job?
Maybe I interview badly.
Maybe it is that “too honest” thing.
Maybe no one believes it.
Or maybe only a person who was “too honest” would ever use that awful line.