It was another moment where my ears opened up wide, out of their sockets, and my jaw hung open. I heard something I wish I hadn’t heard in the office since it opened Pandora’s Box and I knew at that moment all the respect I had for that individual was flushed down the toilet.
She simply said, ‘Let the office boy do it, I’m too senior to be carrying files from the meeting room to the office.’
When I heard that comment, I began remembering other statements that I had previously heard, such as:
“She’s just a PA. She can’t be that stupid to not be able to handle it.”
“What’s with this incompetence?! The cleaning lady didn’t clean the bathroom properly!”
The above comments have been used and abused. I realized that they sound so demeaning and wonder why people go to the extent of making such comments. Is it because they have a higher education? Or is it because they get a higher pay? Or simply is it because they sit ‘upstairs’ while the less fortunate only have broom rooms to sit in?
Like any other staff member, regardless of grade, education or salary even the office boy, and cleaning lady are required to walk into the office, punch in on time and leave with everyone else at end of working hours.
A job is still a job. It doesn’t matter what you do or what education you have. Every employee’s main goal towards the end of the day is to put food on the able, be it for themselves, or their family. Therefore, have some respect.
I make it a point that when I walk into the office in the morning to say “hi” to everyone around me. That includes the office boy carrying tea, and the cleaning lady standing in a corner ensuring that her job is done properly.
Let’s keep in mind that most of these individuals are away from their home. They’re probably sharing a room with 3 other individuals, if not more, and only get a day off once a week. Therefore, why demean them? Why abuse them with negativity? What difference does it make what type of job they do? Towards the end of the day, you’re all employees in the same organization.
We tend to forget the little things that matter. In meetings when you’re there past working hours, don’t you see that the office boy is still there with you? Therefore, isn’t he part of your hard work’s contribution as well? If you come in on a weekend, don’t you know that it is also required from them to be there as well? Isn’t that teamwork?
In an office party to celebrate a success, why do we only call them in for the leftovers? Why can’t they be part of the celebrations?
I think it’s time to open our eyes, and look at everything in perspective; there’s no such thing as a better person here. We’re all one, dedicated to the same organization; therefore, here are some sisterly tips on how to at least bring joy into someone’s life while you’re at work:
- Always greet them
- Never demean them
- Don’t scold, or shout at them
- Involve them in office parties
- Treat them as a team member
With the above said, I hope that everyone can look at this differently and begin treating everyone with the equal level of respect that they deserve.
Fatma (Fay), Emirati girl, with an experience in Corporate Communications and CSR. She is passionate about anything that is traditional and Emirati. In her free time she loves to watch Japanese anime, read manga, and play videogames. Spas are not the only thing that relaxes her, but cooking as well.
Fay’s columns observe work-life experiences and balance. A lot of her articles are based on first-hand personal experiences and issues she has seen or been part of. She loves to observe her surroundings, and watch how people handle different situations they’ve been put in.Also, she is trying to balance the art of staying positive at work and helping her peers understand that not everything should be a problem. With her writings she hopes to make a difference and make people more observant of the little problems in life, or work that hasn’t escalated to a catastrophe. It’s the little things that matters.