Does It Pay to Be a Slacker?

I was out for a mountain bike ride with a friend on Saturday morning. He’s just “survived” a massive round of layoffs at his company. And as we were huffing and puffing our way up one of the longer, but not-so-steep climbs, we chatted about his situation.

He’s a great worker – friendly, positive, excellent work ethic – but since the company laid off over 30% of the workers in his office and asked those who remained to take on the added work-load with no additional benefits, he’s been having a difficult time getting motivated to do the great work he’s known for.

He’s been talking to some of his ex-colleagues who were laid off. They all got 6-months of severance pay and are enjoying an extended “paid vacation.”

That’s when I told him that sometimes it does pay to be a slacker!

We laughed, but ultimately agreed that we would not want to be a resident of slackerdom, even if we would get the occasional treat.

As a Deliberate Creator, have you ever been in a situation like that? Have you ever seen others receiving “gifts” while you seem to have been “passed over?”

If so, what lesson did you take from that experience? Does it pay to be a slacker? Or is there some other message for Deliberate Creators?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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    3 Responses to “Does It Pay to Be a Slacker?”

    1. Austin on September 2nd, 2008 12:59 am

      I think at first the 6 months of severance looks appealing. But after six months it pays to not be a slacker. I have been in similar situations. And while its temporaily frustrating in the end if you avoid the “slacker temptation” you continue growing in your career and your skills.

    2. asithi on September 2nd, 2008 9:46 am

      I like to project the image of a worker, but actually a semi-slacker in disguised when I am at work. Working for the government, I have been in situations where the hardest worker does not get the reward. As soon as other co-workers leave for better paying jobs, I end up with their projects, without any increase in pay, because they know that I can get the work done. But now, I just work at a moderate pace, and leave my work when it is time to go home. Even then, I know I accomplish a lot more than some other people at work.

    3. Edward Mills on September 3rd, 2008 10:08 am

      @Austin: I think you’re right on. Most of those folks will enjoy a nice break for about 5-months and then spend the next few weeks (months?) stressed out as they scramble to find a new job!

      @Asithi: It’s sad that most J.O.B.s are set up to reward slackerism, or at least partially so. In my experience working for large companies – though never for the government – I saw the same thing: if you keep your head down and do enough to just get by, you’re “safe.” But if you try to do a great job, you usually end up being screwed. That’s one of the reasons that I left the corporate world many years ago!

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