I consider myself lucky to have my roots in the rural parts of Norway. Describing the directions was easy. My house is 3 miles that way, the second on the right. Either you left this place or you became a fisherman. For a few years ago I visited home, and one evening I and my childhood friend decided to drive to the nearest local town, 31 miles away just to look at the nightlife. His brother rode in the back seat and asked if we could pick up a buddy of his. Upon entering the vehicle in slippers and shorts, oozing of booze this figure caught my bizarre attention. Our new found guest was annoying, drunk and bragging about his super girlfriend, and how much he manages to drink. My friend’s brother has a university degree and work as a computer engineer. Odds are starting to build up for my theory; “What do you do for a living?” – “I am a fisherman” he snuffled. Nothing wrong with fishermen, I love that they provide my favorite food. He probably makes more money than me also.
The (dis)advantage of rural living!
My mom and dad worked most of their life trying to keep the local store alive. From I was around the age of seven until I was thirteen, my life was not documented in any family photo album. They worked from six in the morning until nine or ten in the evenings. Generating a paycheck of $3.000 a month – together! I am practically raised on out of date food. The working moral my mom and dad showed was one of a kind. I like to say that my parents are not only of another generation, but maybe 3-4 generations more ancient than me. I have learned that we do not give up, we do not complain, and we are never sick. If one arm happens to fall off, we still got one more. Sadly I also learned that ambition is unnecessary, I was told that if I end up being a fisherman I will have a steady income. Education is expensive and if you work for five years instead of educating yourselves you will make a lot of money. Of course it was a lot of money for someone who worked their ass off for dimes. If you have ambitions get the heck away from the countryside, but bring along many of the good qualities. The work ethics of my parents would be a great factor of success in a more dense populated area, if they weren’t such idealists trying to provide food for 200 customers.
Loyalty is one of my top three values.
The company I work for is always the best company ever. (No matter what company I work for). I always do my very best, and I am always on time. I feel bad when I need to take time off work. And I understand that great efforts give great rewards, after all I got two promotions in one year. At least that makes me feel like I am doing something right.
Where are the rest of us?
Am I also of an ancient generation? Arriving late at work is no big deal today. Producing mediocre is ok, unless they get more pay. I have actually heard people say, “I would produce more if I got more pay“. For me it is the other way around. If I produce more I get more pay. If the nose itches they are sick for days. Just to make this totally clear, I am currently extremely lucky with every member of my team at work. (Some of them could benefit greatly by managing to wake up in the morning, but that’s it.) They do not represent this group. But during the last few years I have seen so many talented people waste their chances by slacking off. Many of the people in their early twenties need to be thought this behavior from the very beginning. I have been nagging my team about work ethics and morale since day one. Telling them clearly what I expect of an employee. But what surprises me is that almost no one has these values at the bottom line. And it is a bit sad, because I have also seen so many talented people that never had the opportunity. I would never be happy on a boat.
My tip of the day!
I always like to compare with the division system in the soccer leagues. The best team has the best players. If you want to play with us, 3.division talent and effort just won’t do it. Think about it, beside a great pay check, what do successful athletes have in common?
Do you have young employees? Do you encounter the same challenges? Or do I just expect too much? Please feel free to comment.