A couple of days ago, I talked about DIGNITY, and how you need to make sure you don’t try to take anybody else’s away. On the other side of the coin, is SELF-RESPECT, or your own perception of your self and the value you have.
Ask any successful person, I mean a REALLY SUCCESSFUL person, and they will say they have a lot of worth or value. They border on (some willingly cross that border) of egotistic, but they have the goods to back it up. Most of them will also tell you that self-respect is one of the most important things you need if you want to be successful. I happen to agree wholeheartedly with this idea.
There is a commercial for a famous ICE CREAM BAR where the announcer asks, “What would you do?”, for one of these bars. The same question can be asked about money.
When people want so badly to be “rich”, or “wealthy”, or “famous”, they sometimes act in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise. We all know about the nuttiness that has become Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and the late, ANNA NICOLE SMITH. These girls all had promising careers at one time in their lives, but call it bad management, poor choices in friends, or lack of self-respect, they lost heavily. Each of these girls, in my opinion suffered from lack of self-respect. In many cases, they took drugs, engaged in sensational behavior, and became jokes. So far, one has even paid for her choices with her life, leaving behind an infant child.
But the rich and famous don’t have a lock on doing stupid things for money. Every day, normal people do stupid things to make a few extra dollars, or to keep jobs that really aren’t worth the trouble. Unfortunately, many of the people who make the biggest mistakes are young people.
I’d love to say that there are no more sleaze bags out there who lord their title of “Management” over some poor, young, girl in an effort to cop a cheap feel, or to get lucky while the wife is out of town. I’d love to say that cougars only operate at night, in clubs, and not in the office. I’d love to, but I bet if I did, I’d get flooded with, and rightfully so, angry messages pointing out how wrong I am. But just because these people exist, doesn’t mean you have to fall for it. You need to have respect for yourself, and you need to be sure to not allow yourself into these types of uncomfortable situations.
But there are other things that you can do that don’t involve you being a victim. Some people think that it’s okay to take shortcuts with service, or to help themselves to small amounts of product. Okay, this is called stealing, but more importantly, if you think that whatever you are taking is so small and insignificant that nobody will ever miss it, why would you waste your time and risk your job and reputation to take it?
In my years of working for banks and credit unions, I’ve been asked about a million times, “How do you stop yourself from just taking some of the money? I mean, who’s going to miss it?” Of course, I’ve never taken any money from my company, but just to put the answer out there: I have never worked at a place that had an amount of money that was worth me giving up my career, my freedom (because I WOULD get caught), and everything that I stand for. Even if there were such a place, the sheer volume of that much money would surely be missed. In short, I have way too much SELF RESPECT.