Are you superhuman? Do you know what that word means? If you are superhuman, you have qualities that are greater and more impressive than those of an ordinary person. Am I talking about genetic modification, cybernetic implants, evolution or just exceeding expectations? What happens, if you or your boss have unreasonable expectations?
If you are faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, you probably are superman. You may not be superman, but everyone expects you to be! Do we have unreasonable expectations of people? The short answer is yes! You are expected to work long hours, accomplish the work of two or three people and happy with whatever money they pay you.
Are these unreasonable expectations? The demands of work go way beyond working long hours, dealing with unreasonable people and pleasing unreasonable bosses. It is when pressure turns into stress and much more. You may even have a personal life, family and other things that you need to do. In this economy, there are people who want your job and some of them may even work in the same company. Young single people are building a future, but want to have a life outside of work too.
What can you do, if your boss works unbelievable hours? In this mobile world, you can work from home on vacation, at night and weekends. Is there a payoff for all this hard work? There has to be, otherwise you should quit and move on! There is always someone willing to work harder, longer and better than you. Why not, the money or reward is good or you wouldn’t do it. Wall Street is an excellent example of rewards that are over the top. Do you know what you have to do to earn it?
It helps to go to a top ten (10) school. It may even take a MBA from a top ten (10) school too. A sixty to seventy hour work week is common and late nights are the rule. Wall Street investment firms make their money doing deals that have time requirements and long hours are just part of it. Is this unreasonable? I do not think so because it is well known before you join the firm. When the seven figure bonuses are paid there will be more smiles than frowns.
Where or when does it stop?
Unreasonable expectations in your career are sort of expected, particularly in a tough economy. You definitely expect it in the high demand industries and careers. I do not expect it in my personal life. My doctor’s office, and other professionals call to remind me of an appointment. It is a nice courtesy and it helps the office that does it. It avoids “no shows”. It takes time and people to do that little courtesy and adds costs to the office. We are used to these little things and begin to expect it. Shouldn’t we all take responsibility for ourselves?
What do you expect in terms of service at a restaurant? Is it enough to take your order and give it to you within a reasonable time? You realize that everything must work well in the kitchen for that to happen. Do you expect the wait staff to make things happen despite the chaos? In addition, the staff needs to anticipate your every need and perform superbly for the tip. Is this unreasonable? Good service is a lost art and all it takes is one bad night, you may not return.
Do you have unreasonable expectations? I think we become conditioned to expect more of people since we are expected to perform at lofty heights. When I spend more for something, I expect more because I justified the higher cost for quality. The service should be different at the expensive restaurant versus the diner. When I have dinner in New York, I tell the waiter I have tickets for a show. They always take care of me and I take care of them in my tip. That is an expected service in that area.
Early in my career, unreasonable expectations were challenges that I loved. I viewed these challenges as something that made my job more interesting. I think successful people set their own expectations rather waiting for others. These expectations are growing faster and higher than is reasonable. It was accelerated by the recession because companies had to do with less people and resources to cope with the decreased demand. That is almost over and things will change as more opportunities begin to appear. I expect that unreasonable expectations will continue because it is part of society now. Tell me what you think in the comments. Are you superhuman?
Photo by: Xurble
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Are you superhuman?