Business Etiquette Between Manager and Employee
Your Business Blogger is noticing a most disturbing trend with business clients. The younger employees do not, it appears, render proper subservience and groveling to their elder-better bosses. This disturbs my sense of order and entitlement.
Is good old fashioned boot-licking dead?
Cubicle Farm As I traverse cubicle farms across the fruited plain, I see entry-level drones toiling away. Plowing as straight a furrow as any dependable farm hand. Yet these hayseeds have yet to learn manners.
In the US of A the worker bees would continue typing and clicking away when the Boss and Your Observant Consultant would wander by and stand at the cube threshold. The employee’s eyes would remain on the monitor — ears open to the boss — listening, we were told, to the manager’s every instruction. The young employee would call this “multi-tasking.”
I call it rude.
On site in India I compare this ‘dis’ trend to the contrast of the warm glow Your Business Blogger would routinely feel when consulting in India. Whenever the business owner enters a room. All work would cease. All would stand.
Then the boss would magnanimously, graciously invite the employees to be seated and resume their work.
Of course, no one moved. Until the owner left the room.
(There’s a lot to be said for the kiss up, kick down management style of the sub-continent.)
In India the employees would stand up. In North America the employees don’t even look up.
The US Army, as usual, gets it right when dealing with rank:
The senior never thinks of it.
The junior never forgets it.
Whenever soldiers would cross paths, the junior would acknowledge the senior. If one is an officer the junior will salute the senior. And the senior will return the courtesy.
The private businesses who never had employees who were privates in the Army, think and behave as if everyone is equal.
There is far too much of this egalitarian nonsense in our culture. Much of it comes from the academy, where most nonsense originates.
At the University of Virginia where Charmaine earned her doctorate, the instructors are addressed as Mister. Not Doctor. Mr. Jefferson was a fan of fraternite and Voltaire and all things French.
Egalite run amuck.
But the manager and the ambitious young man, understanding the spirit of the times, knows that nothing changes in the human spirit. We all want to be appreciated. Even the boss.
So the young future leader desiring to be a stand out, will stand up when the boss enters.
The young man will stand up when a lady enters the room.
The employee with integrity will take a stand.
Be a stand up guy.
And everyone will accuse you of apple-polishing.
But you will soon fill those boots everyone thought you were a-licking.
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Thank you (foot)notes:
Susan Ward has Test Your Knowledge With the Business Etiquette Quiz.