Integrity counts, even at $6.50/hour

I never understood how people could be okay with doing an average or below-average job the majority of the time. I understand that there are days where you just can’t do your best, and that there are circumstances where it isn’t possible. But there are people who just don’t do their best, ever. I’m sure there are reasons for it from time to time that any therapist could do wonders with. But there are also those who just don’t care.

I have heard people say, “If they want me to do a good job, they should pay me more.” And sure, many people should be paid much more than they are.  But what about personal integrity and self-worth? Don’t people want to show themselves that they can do their best? Don’t people know that their best is worth giving, if only because their best is something that no one else can do in the same way?

I do my best because at the end of the day, I want to feel good about what I did. Imagine how lousy it would feel to end an 8-12 hour day knowing that you didn’t do your best because someone wasn’t appreciative enough, or you don’t get paid enough.  Aren’t we enough? Isn’t it enough of a reward to know that what I do matters? That what I do may not seem like a big deal, and I might not get paid a lot, but it makes a difference? My job matters: whether it’s busing tables or busing people around.  I think about those women who clean the bathrooms in Grand Central Station. Yuck, what a job. I mean, those places get so gross and messy. But these women do it every day and I have so much respect for them. That is not an easy task. Imagine how much worse that job would be if they didn’t think it made a difference in peoples’ daily commutes.

I think when it comes to doing our best, we just have to believe that it does make a difference. Perhaps the evidence of a reward or appreciation  isn’t immediate, or even existent. Perhaps our boss is an ungrateful fool. But we can choose to base our integrity in our work on their opinions, or we can base it on the excellence of our actions.


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.

1 thought on “Integrity counts, even at $6.50/hour

  1. You make many excellent points here.

    I remember from back in my cashier days that I would often try to “make someone’s day.” It’s amazing how being pleasant to someone can not only effect their day, but also our own.

I want to hear your thoughts! Please share....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s