America’s Do Nothing Culture

DurbanIt’s amazing to me to come across so many people in today’s society that think that just showing up is sufficient for me to fork over my hard-earned money to them. Whether it’s someone I hire to do something for me, or a customer service representative, a salesperson, or even a family member. While I appreciate the company, you know, I am not the only person with a brain and two working hands. When I say I want “support” it’s not your emotional shoulder I want, it’s your work ethic. That appears to be sorely lacking in this country where the “do nothing and get paid for it” ethos wins the day.

I Always Thought It Was Because I’m A Single Mother

I used to think it was because I was a single mother, and we tend to work harder, longer, and have to pick up after every one else. While we may get tons of sympathy, no one feels obligated to do any baby-sitting, send over a casserole, invite me for dinner, or even mow my lawn for free.  I noticed that while everyone else had spouses (which they bitterly complained about) who did their lawn, changed their oil, and fixed their appliances, that I had to pay for those services, sometimes quite a lot and got very little in terms of actual quality work from these people. They want my money, all right, but they don’t necessarily think they need to deliver a quality service, or any service at all sometimes to receive payment. At any rate, I can now say it’s not because I am a single mother that predatory promisers of good service abound. I think now it has more to do with the do nothing work culture of America. I can expect it whether I am single or not.

Classic Examples

  • A Do Nothing Sales Person – I went into a health food store and requested a brand name allergy herbal remedy. I had money in my hand, but they only had the larger bottle and not the original bottle that cost what I wanted to spend. When I complained that I didn’t want that many pills and that I only had so much money, the sales person abruptly left me on the spot, saying “Fine!” to tend to some other person. I ended up going to another store, buying a different brand for the right price, and I haven’t returned since to that other store. Why? Do nothing sales people who can’t even turn a sale when a customer walks in with money in their hand knowing exactly what they want, that’s why. What would it have cost her to actually listen to my needs and recommend a different brand? Instead, I get the “I’m too busy to help you, and I must go elsewhere where I can go get paid to do nothing” ethos.
  • A Domain Registrar – I tried this weekend to get a domain registered with They said they accepted PayPal payments, but didn’t specify how.  Something happened right away upon my sales request, and the password was different than I had set up, so I couldn’t get into support to find out how to make a payment. Did they notice the payment wasn’t made? Oh, yes – IMMEDIATELY.  The do nothing and get paid culture always notices when a payment doesn’t show up that they believe they’re due for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING yet.  They finally send me instructions on how to make payment and the payment goes through. There I am sitting and waiting for the domain to propagate and after seven days, I figure something is wrong. It’s still not showing up in my browser. I contact them again and they tell me they never registered it. Sure, they admit to taking my money, but they never registered it. Why? Maybe because that’s the standard way to make money in America. Sit on your fat *SS and do nothing! When I requested a refund for the period of time that they essentially did nothing and had promised delivery, I was told it was my fault because I didn’t notify them I had paid them and their system didn’t tell them they were paid. Holy Cow! I am now responsible for making sure people who take my money know they have it or I won’t get any service.  I canceled my account on the spot. I don’t do business with do nothing companies or do nothing customer sales people. I requested a FULL refund instead of a partial one. No work – NO PAY. How many times do I have to say that before someone understands me? Meanwhile, I’m getting the full sympathetic shoulder from a do nothing customer service rep as if that’s what I’m paying for. I’m paying to register a domain, not for some retarded double-speak and excuses. If the domain isn’t registered and they have my money, I want a refund for the work they promised that they failed to do. What’s so hard to understand?
  • An Expensive Employee – I have a friend who had 13 employees who were very well paid, very highly educated too. One of these employees said he had “12 years experience” and could do all manner of things. At any rate, he was sent out on a simple job for a client and when he reported back, he told this friend that he thought they could “do nothing” for this client. He was fired on the spot. It turned out to be a simple 15 minute fix, but the owner reasoned that the man was either lazy, didn’t want to be bothered, or simply didn’t have the knowledge he claimed to have to fix the problem. Either way, he wasn’t worth the salary. Here’s a helpful hint: When a client comes to you with money in hand and they want their problem fixed, “do nothing” is not a good response to generate business. If you think your boss isn’t noticing your lack of action or your lazy attitude, think again. If you have a job in this tight economy, my advice to you is to do what you have to do to keep it – like actually doing your job.  If you are a struggling company, here’s a tip for you. Actually deliver what you promise, when you promise it. Is that too much to ask in America anymore? My friend thinks so. He says in all the years he was in business he found that none of his employees had the work ethic that people outside the country have. The suppliers too were not that great about doing what they say will do either. He’s thinking maybe he’ll go overseas and start a business there instead. He’s tired of pampering overly educated, highly pampered, do nothing Americans.

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