Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Lazy Is a Four Letter Word

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Lazy Is a Four Letter Word

Article excerpt

y mother was quite fond of saying, "If you have a job, do it well." She did not really have much patience for people who did things half way or did just enough to get by - she really believed in being the best in whatever she did and this competitiveness became a part of my life. I can remember quite clearly helping her with the weekly wash and hanging it on the clothes line where she would come out and check to see whose wash among the neighbors was the cleanest - everyone in those days seemed to wash on the same day of the week. If my mother's wash was not the brightest, she took it all down and my sister and I had to re-do the laundry. There were many examples of this nature which instilled in me the desire and will to do a job well the first time around. We all wonder, I'm sure, at times, if what we say to our children really ever makes a difference but as we age, we have more time to reflect on those things or persons who made a difference in our lives. Sometimes those persons were our parents, sometimes they were our neighbors or friends or all three. Growing up lazy, however, was not an option in my family.

As a quasi-researcher - meaning that I am a full-time administrator who finds that she must conduct some research I am amazed that to my knowledge there has been little to no research on the concept of laziness. With a minor in organizational behavior, I know there have many studies on worker satisfaction, dissatisfaction, commitment, ad infinitum, but no studies dealing with a concept which clearly has application in the work-a-day world. Are we to assume that all workers professional and non-professional have the same level of desire to work and also have the same value system in doing the best job possible the first time around? This is really a broad generalization without any scientific basis.

In discussing the ability of persons to attain a certain level of performance, I have been struck by the reaction or response that persons have to the term "lazy." No one wants to be called lazy. People respond as if they have been insulted, cursed or have been reduced to the lowest levels of humanity. This reaction surprises me, mainly because it is so unexpected and secondly because I know that all persons do not function at the same level in performing any job. For example, I have not personally come across too many lazy nurses - the terms seem incongruous. …

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