Baseball season is over again and I remember when I was much younger thinking about how near it was to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The end of the season also reminds me of my heroes and some baseball legends. Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Roger Maris, Ted Williams, and countless others. But for some strange reason this year, the very popular Simon & Garfunkel song, “Mrs. Robinson”, from Mike Nichols’ Oscar-winning movie, “The Graduate”, popped into my head. It was the Joe DiMaggio thing.
If you don’t remember it here’s a verse:
“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)”
It got me thinking about “the good ol’ days” and one thing in particular — appropriate professional business behavior. You may recall that I’ve written about negativity in the workplace, like toxic bosses and co-workers, and destructive comments.
Within the last few months, I’ve been literally peppered and frequently floored by stories I’ve heard, situations I’ve witnessed and research I’ve conducted – and guess what? Some businesses are making money in spite of themselves and their toxic and caustic cultures. Could they make more? Ah, the million dollar question. The envelope please . . .
I am increasingly perplexed by a few things that go on in the workplace, the least of which is that some people would like to collect a paycheck without doing anything, including showing up at work if it were possible:
1. How people in a business setting answer the telephone – many times it’s quite unprofessional.
I know you’ve heard them too. “This is XYZ Company.” Followed by dead silence. So you ask professionally , “Good morning. My name is Brian Howe and I’m trying to reach Mr./Ms. Manager.” The response spews forth, “He’s here, but he’s real busy and can’t come to the phone.” More silence.
I say, “May I please leave a voicemail or message?” Once again the professional response, “We don’t have voicemail.” “Okay, then will you take a message for me, please?” “Sure, let me put you on hold.”
You get my point.
2. How employees talk to each other and to clients – I think it’s become appalling in many instances.
Foul language, inappropriate and unprofessional voice tone and volume. It