Unprofessional “Professionals”

As a result of my nature, personality and upbringing (or maybe my diet, the stars, and the influence of my parents) I admit to being a bit of a perfectionist. I always thought being a perfectionist was a good thing (because it requires such strength and tenacity).  It is just recently that I realized I would have to “admit to it,” instead of brag about it. Something in me drives me to strive to “do the right thing,” do things “correctly” and attempt to provide superior service. It is a little OCD-ish, but I was always proud of it and flattered myself by thinking it was “character.”

When I encounter what for the sake of politeness I am calling “unprofessionalism” in others, I am always surprised by it (that’s another personality trait of mine: I am stubborn and don’t learn from experience until it hits me over the head one too many times). I truly expect people to have high moral values and ethics, and to treat others as they would like to be treated.

My training in psychology taught me that the expectation that others will act a certain way because it is my preference is projection. To me, it is just common sense in general and good business sense to try to do your work to your best ability and to treat your clients politely and respectfully. I have been accused of being idealistic, “over-achieving” (which I always thought was a bizarre backhanded “compliment” (i.e., insult – effectively saying “You’re really not that great, so no need to try so hard:).

This latest rant was prompted by a truly horrible experience with an educated “professional” who traditionally is busy in April (hint, hint). I had discovered several errors in the work performed and was told that the errors would not be corrected. This to me, was completely mind-blowing. There was no apology for making the errors, and no attempt at making the customer happy. Instead, the response was very curt and rude. I had dejavu’ of previous experiences when I have pointed out bad news of some kind to someone – the response is often “shoot the messenger.”

I always expect people to truly care about whatever has been reported as being a problem, but the truth is many people apparently do not. I find it particularly distressful when you hire someone to do a job for you and you pay them good money and the work is less than satisfactory. It’s like some people have entitlement issues, and truly believe that they are doing their customers or clients a favor by working for them, and that the client has to accept errors or less than professional work. This pheonomenon really boggles my mind. I think most people probably don’t do the level of proofing I do, otherwise they would also be livid at the errors that are made. I am guessing most people probably trust “professionals” to do a professional job and don’t second guess them.

I realized that I need to trust my instincts about the people I hire to do work for me. In each case where I was sorely disappointed in the service I received, there were subtle hints that the relationship might not be suitable for me, but I chose to ignore them (in this last case, the person talked fast and mumbled at the same time, which I thought was odd and a bit of a practical problem in that I could not understand a good deal of what was said, but I shrugged it off as my problem – not being able to understand – instead of a sign that the person might not be a good fit for me). At some point, you (I) just get sick of looking for the “perfect  professional,” knowing that no one is perfect. But I have to remind myself again that there are kind, honest, ethical, competent people out there and no matter how inconvenient, I should never settle for less! debryman.com

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8 Responses to “Unprofessional “Professionals””

  1. outsider222 Says:

    I was ripped of by a whole town full of “Professionals” who brazenly refused to do the right thing.

    (So I blogged them.)

    There are large segments of the population where the word “Professional” still has doubtful connotations.

  2. opit Says:

    My niece is considered a ‘perfectionist’ by her parents. It didn’t take long for misunderstanding and disappointment on her part to sour our relationship. That wasn’t helped by the fact that we live half a world apart – and I didn’t see the need to explain what she took as unfairness as simply a result of personal circumstance.
    Oddly enough, working for a perfectionist – if you take their impatient grousing with lots of salt – can be easier than trying to please someone who wouldn’t know a good job if they fell over it. I do notice the common response is resentment over perceived unfairness : but laziness on the part of the grumpy is often a reasonable assessment as well.

  3. debsbeachblog Says:

    Outsider: A whole town? That’s disturbing, if true.

    Opit: “Resentment over perceived unfairness . . .” I guess to the person who does not perceive charging someone a hefty amount of money and having the work paid for riddled with mistakes – and no apologies and nothing but attitude . . . if that is not indeed unfair then what is?

    I guess some people just have no expectations regarding what might be considered “professional.”

    If someone were to point out blatant mistakes I had made, I would number one be so embarrased I would not know what to do (because if my product were downright sloppy it would bother me), and number two, I would apologize!

    It’s pretty simple, really, from my pov. Treat others as you wish to be treated. If doing work for others, perform services as you wish they would be performed for you.

    I don’t “get” not caring. How do you justify that? What do you tell yourself about taking someone’s money and doing a crappy job? (Not you, per se, but a person who does that).

    . . . Such a pet peeve and not nice. And definitely not professional!

  4. outsider222 Says:

    (LOL – “Whole town” is hyperbole… I’ll just say more than 10 people)

    We’re all only human. At one point I honestly believed that my buyer’s agent’s gross misconduct did not start out quite as criminal as it later became.

    It really is a tangled web we weave. If he had only admitted to his “Mistake” and attemped some solution on my behalf, he would have saved a lot of money himself.

    He now Googles quite badly, (and I did Google him before doing business with him). And they have removed all the large signs from the developement down the street – the signs with his name on it – and replaced them with smaller, nameless signs.

    Communication is the key. I made many polite attempts at communication with him, and he ignored me. Now we’re both paying the price.

  5. opit Says:

    My mis-communication is in full force. I am not the one who posited ‘perfectionism’ : an attitude requiring pains not commonly thought necessary – therefore giving an appearance of being unreasonable.

  6. debsbeachblog Says:

    Opit: This is the statement you made that indicated to me that you might equate perfectionism as unreasonable:

    “I do notice the common response is resentment over perceived unfairness.”

    I was attempting to make the point that if the person who has taken pains to do their best on tasks is presented with sloppy work that they are paying for, the appropriate response would be to deduce the unfairness of the situation (i.e., services paid for not rendered).

    You used the word “perceived.” I wanted to point out that it was not just perceived, but actual unfairness.

  7. opit Says:

    And you are so oriented on the scenario you are experiencing as aggrieved party that you do not recognize when a person is talking about a hypothetical situation as seen from another viewpoint. How could I argue fitness of service – in a given instance – from a position of absolute ignorance ? Given the impossibility of that project – I did not attempt to do so.


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