By Lola Rain

Regardless of whether you work in an office or at home, you have to be responsible. You show up on time and complete your projects on deadline. You communicate effectively, I hope. Nevertheless, you probably send a lot of emails (or texts) thinking it’s effective communication.

Now, I know over the years we’ve hemmed and hawed at the next generation of workers and how their work ethics are extremely different from the generation before. That is normal. From boomer to Gen X to Y, and now Z, there are noticeable differences that we can embrace. But what’s extremely frustrating is that there is an entirely different set of workers out there who have no idea what it means to show up on time and complete a project in a reasonable time frame.

For those of us who have been desk jockeys most of our careers, we are probably dumbfounded when we encounter someone who has no idea how to show up on time, yet they still expect to be paid. This is the general contractor’s syndrome.

General Contractors

Let me give you an example. My bathroom has been torn apart for four months. It’s a tiny bathroom—shower, no tub, less than 30 square feet of floor space. I’ve had electricians and door installers, floor guys, painters, plumbers, and HVAC guys all come over. For the most part, they are nice, but none have shown up when they said they would. Some have patronized me—in my own home—and still gotten paid. There are the guys with masks and without. Some smoke and some don’t.

I have only a few minutes to “judge” them before they begin their work. They don’t offer me a resume or portfolio. I must use gut instinct. And if they don’t pass my initial test, I don’t know how to throw them out without being a Karen (sorry Karen). It’s probably better if I go all berserk so they think I am mental instead of them blaming my customer dissatisfaction on my gender (i.e., just another middle-aged woman who’s never satisfied).

There are no logical guidelines for hiring a contractor or remodeler, even though there are millions of bad stories about them. And there are no guidelines on how to fire a contractor. Contractors are a necessity if you want to make improvements without DIY.

So what if people applying to go into the homes of our seniors didn’t have a resume and you had to use gut instinct in hiring them? Oh, we’d be in trouble. We all have stories about our epic failures with new hires. Like the woman I hired who looked great at the interview and showed up to work with filthy hair like she’d been mud wrestling. Oy vey!

How Do We Make Them More Like Us?

The question I need to pose here is: How do we shift the culture of a group of people who we depend on to move forward and thrive? How do we make them more like us?

Answer: We don’t. We pivot. 

You know what? I don’t like that answer. In fact, I HATE that answer. Why do I have to change who I am? Why do I need to change my expectations of how the world works and how people should act? Why?

Please take a moment to share your insightful thoughts in the comments. I appreciate you!