Culture Relationships

The Bare Minimum

When I first started working at Texas Instruments I was always late. I had a terrible commute on 380 when they were converting it from one lane to three. Sometimes I would get to work 15 minutes early and other times I would be 15 minutes late.

I was one of the top employees in the Help desk, but they were very strict about being on time. I knew they weren’t going to fire me so I just kept being late and thinking it wasn’t a big deal. One day my boss pulled me into the office and said, “Eddie, we want you to be a team lead, but you are late about 2-3 times a month.” To me that wasn’t a big deal, but to him it was. I learned that all of my hard work was negated by my inability to show up to work on time.

So I moved closer and removed tardiness from my list of attributes. I’m on time now when it matters in my business and personal life.

Now, I have a roommate living with me and when he first moved in he folded all of my laundry. Two large loads of everything from towels to my underwear. I’ve got no shame in my underwear game and so I didn’t care, but later he overflowed the trash with his 2-liter bottle and KFC trash and he constantly leaves lights on. I recently got two $500 electric bills out of the blue and so I am an electricity Nazi now and even if I didn’t get a huge bill there is no need to be wasteful. I finally told him, folding my clothes is nice, buying batteries for the remote is awesome, but all of those things are negated by the fact that you let the trash overflow, leave lights on, leave the dryer door open (which has a light inside) leave the ceiling fan on, etc. I don’t like to lecture, but sometimes you have to tell people your expectations. I don’t expect much, but I do expect at least the bare minimum. The normal standards of decency and respect. The picking up your dishes off of the coffee table after I took the time to cook dinner for both of us.

It’s a fine line sometimes to balance between letting someone know what you want and nagging, but if you are being nagged then maybe you need to take a look at yourself and see if you don’t deserve it you big electricity wasting slob.

On an up-note I do enjoy having a room mate, it’s good to work through things with someone, living alone can often makes us selfish and inflexible. We get set in our ways and we expect everyone to follow them, including a possible significant other.

Also, if you aren’t getting that promotion at work you think you deserve, then take a look at yourself and make sure you are doing at least the bare minimum.

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