McGee: That new-fangled 21st century work ethic

By Grant McGee: CNJ columnist

Did we waste our time back in the 20th century having a work ethic? You know, being on time for a job, finishing a job, stuff like that.

It seems there’s a new way of doing things here in the 21st century. This came to mind when I ran into a guy we’d hired to do some work for us in May. He had almost finished the job when he vanished; took his tools and drove away, no goodbye, no explanation, nothing.

A day passed, a week, a month, two months, no word from this fellow. A check for his services was stuck to the fridge with a magnet. It stayed there until we finally figured he just didn’t want his money.

So here he is in July and he says, “I had car problems.”

I pondered if he’d had other trouble, maybe with a girlfriend or certain authority figures.

I thought about other examples of this new-fangled 21st century American work ethic.

There was the time we called a cement company for an estimate and they never came by or called back. Or the man who came to do a roof estimate, excused himself to get a ladder and never returned.

There was the young interviewee for an office receptionist’s position who asked if she could work the job from home. I suppose she thought she could meet our customers on her front porch.

How about the insurance salesman and the bicycle salesman who didn’t follow up after we said we wanted to buy their products. When I was a salesman I would’ve been booted out the door if the boss heard I’d passed over a sure deal.

Can I try this new-fangled 21st century work ethic?

Maybe it’d lower my blood pressure, allow more time for home projects or get me fired.