Matt Perryman

We’ll be teaching employees to tie their shoes next

By Matt Perryman

I heard a hilarious statistic the other day. Something like one in four Gen Z job applicants are bringing their parents with them to job interviews.

Give it ten years and, assuming we still have electricity, the kids will be getting jobs in order to learn how to brush their teeth and tie their shoes.

Many years ago when I was in charge of a small team of employees, we had one guy who came in late every single day.

This was a rolling 24 hour gig, so the guy coming off night shift couldn’t leave until the morning guy turned up.

When you’ve been on a 12 hour overnight shift, that 10 minute delay starts to gnaw at you. Everybody else left 10 minutes ago and you’re tapping your foot.

He wasn’t a bad guy. He was good at the job, rarely called off, and a decent enough dude.

The chronic lateness was a teaspoon of manure in a tub of vanilla ice cream.

You can be great at what you do, but if you can’t fill the most basic conditions of the job, you suck at it.

The bar’s so low now that you’ve got people acting like they’re employee of the month because they got to work on time.

There’s another side of this, too. Bad employers use their “human resources” like disposable tools, extracting everything they can get and offering nothing in return.

Staff with no stake in the business, no purpose in their work, and a sorry culture created by sorry leadership turn up to work with no reason to care about the role or the company.


It turns out that middle managers and C-level execs can fail the basics of their jobs too.

As master poet Joaquin Phoenix once quoth, “You get what you eff-ing deserve.”

Here’s the moral.

Basic professionalism is not hard.

If you can show up on time and do what you say you’ll do, you’re in the top 5% already.

This seems to baffle so many people, and it is hardly a Gen Z exclusive problem.

It’s a miracle we still have running water and electric lights, based on some of the unprofessional conduct I’ve witnessed the last several years.

Professionalism is like the front axle on your car.

That V8 under the hood doesn’t matter much without it.

Matt Perryman

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