Doing a good job is hard


3 min read

So hard, less and less people seem to be trying to do them.

It's becoming more prevalent that people are not putting effort into what they are doing. Yesterday, a delivery guy stopped in front of our house, jumped out, rang the doorbell and by the time I had opened it, the guy had scanned the package, pushed it into my bewildered hands and jumped back into his truck and took off. Neither me nor my wife had ordered something. That's when we noticed it was for two doors down. The guy had not taken the time to look for the proper house, he just rang the first doorbell with a number that kinda looked like the address and pushed it into my hands. Now it was my problem and not his. In my opinion, he didn't do a good job.

Now that isn't an important situation, it's not a big deal to give the package to the neighbour two doors down. The problem becomes dangerous when people don't do a good job with more important activities. Like say, driving a ton of steel at 50 to 100 km an hour (that's 30 to 60 miles per hour for non-metric people). Sometimes it's even more. On the road, I see drivers ignoring stop signs, orange or even red lights and not using turn signals.

Now mistakes happen and I have certainly cut somebody off or driven when tired, so thank you to all drivers who were paying attention when I wasn't. What I'm talking about is deliberate incompetence, I have seen many near collisions happen (some almost involving me) because of this behaviour. Running a red light, driving and texting/calling or driving while drunk are not things you do because you're tired or distracted. They are deliberate actions where the driver decides a call or getting home quickly is more important then theirs and others' safety. In my opinion, that's gross negligence.

I shudder to think who out there takes shortcuts and does a bad job: doctors, lawyers, nuclear power plant workers, the driver of your tram? The only way to counter it is to put in the effort needed to do a good job. Such behaviour should be rewarded by friends, family, colleagues, employers and customers.

A bad job mostly leads to faults that need to be fixed later. Sometimes it could be that instead of the courier that gets paid to deliver a package, that time comes out of my pocket. If it's a driver that runs over a pedestrian or crashes into another car or even a tree, the fix is going to take a bit longer and is going to be a lot more expensive.

It could also mean the difference between a successful project and a failed project. Sometimes a bad job is because a client asked for the quick fix. Whether you're a plumber not attaching two pipes properly or a software developer adding some badly structured code to get some component to work. Both are acting unprofessionally at the moment. It is the job of a professional to build the correct things and build things correctly.

It might make you late for an appointment. It might make your work day a little longer. It might make your project a little late. In the end, everybody involved will be very thankful that you did a good job.