As I was finishing up my early morning working at a local high school track today the teachers were starting to arrive for the school day. A significant majority of the teachers drove into the parking lot and took the time to back into a parking spot. It was pretty clear that they were preparing to make a quick exit at the end of the day.
What kind of message does this send to students? Administrators? Are teachers so stressed that they need to escape as quickly as possible? What about students who need to stay late for help with subjects in which they are struggling? Perhaps the teachers intent on "working to contract" and not willing to give one minute more than required.
How many of us have the same attitude? It is simple to just put in the time and get through the day, checking out when the clock says it is OK to exit. But that might not be what is best for an employer, or a career, or your customers.
Check your own "parking" routine. Do you arrive at work in the morning and start counting the hours until lunchtime? Do you spend the afternoon thinking about your commute home? Do you think Mondays are simply awful because they are too far away from Friday?
This sort of "get it done and over with" attitude can even affect the boss. Certainly we are all more stressed and piled high with work. Studies show that American productivity is at an all time high. But that does not excuse work that is rushed, shoddy or just good enough to get by.
Let's face it: none of us will ever again have plenty of time to accomplish our work. Which makes it all the more important that we focus on doing the best job we can, no matter how small or large the task. No more backing in.