In the immortal words of the great Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” Respect is critical. It is crucial in relationships. Whether in the workplace or in a marriage, it is the first child born from genuine love. If someone claims to love you, but does not show you respect, he is lying. I had a recent experience that reminded of its importance.
I walked into an office to personally introduce myself to a potential employer. I knew before even applying that this employer had some shade in their background. However, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and give it a shot. With charming smile and resume in hand, I proceeded to the front desk. I was immediately shot down with the “It’s all online, read our sign on the door” script. I’ve heard similar scripts, but not in such a condescending tone. I kindly explained I completed the online application but wanted to personally show my interest in the position. The receptionist proceeds to find someone in charge I presume. I heard her say, “There is a gentlemen here asking about a job he applied to.” The person in authority replied, “I’m busy, he can wait.” Mind you this was a rather small office and I could hear every word (I’m almost sure she knew this).
After about five minutes, she comes out and proceeds with the same script and further adds I am just wasting my time. I once again kindly (but now with a burning fire hidden behind my paper smile) explain my intentions. She tells me that she gets it and she has done hundreds of job fairs, but there is nothing she can do. I walk away and solemnly say, “I see now why your company has the problems it has.”
Could everyone in that office maybe just be stressed and overworked? Sure, and I sincerely understand that. It still is not right to treat others with disdain just because we feel bad, though. I was angry. I just was trying to do the professional thing and wanted professionalism in return. There was a lot more I wanted to say, but I refuse to let anyone have that kind of control over me. Anger isn’t the enemy, just improperly channeling it is. I channeled my anger into reporting this incident to proper authorities. Will anything change within that company’s culture? Maybe, maybe not. However, I changed and that’s what’s important. I did not let myself have an emotional reaction, rather I took action. Action out of respect for every job seeker who just wants that—respect.
I could go on a whole series about the current flaws of the hiring process (a topic for another post). It is all based in respect. Respect is a deep seeded reverence we have for who someone is and all they do. Think of how you would treat your parents or want your children to treat you. Respect is not limited to just our inner circle. If we do not show it for everyone we come across, we at risk for seriously damaging how others see themselves and how we will be seen by others. If we do not respect ourselves, we will damage ourselves or let others do so. Your reputation matters. You matter. It all rests on the amount of respect you show for others and yourself. Start showing it to your family, peers, and yourself and watch how your interactions transform for the better.
“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” ~ Lawrence Stern
Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay