My husband is a proud man. He is Italian, and – as much as I hate sweeping generalizations – passion and pride are at the top of my list of characteristics of your average Italian (man). While I do mean passion in the romantic or sexual sense, I also mean in all aspects of their lives.
Take work, for example. My husband, years ago, was a warehouse manager at Ikea in Rome. He loved that job. Apart from finding it fun and getting along swimmingly with his coworkers and higher-ups, it gave him a sense of accomplishment that he does not get from his work in the restaurant industry.
As banal as it might sound, he was passionate about this job. He was proud to do his job – he was proud that he knew the computer system so well, was so organized, and could handle a crew. He lavished in the respect he had earned from his team.
At this point, unfortunately, he does not feel the same way about his current place of employment. This is partially because he, as per usual, gives it his all but does not receive the same respect in return. He shows up on time – if not early -, puts in extra hours, deep-cleans his own stations as well as those of the others (who do not take the time to do so), constantly tries to better himself, respects his coworkers and managers/owners, and keeps his head down and his nose out of other people’s business.
You might say: Well, who cares about what others are doing as long as you’re doing a good job? However the issue is, this is not recognized by the people in charge. Or, rather, maybe it is recognized, but they just don’t care. This is partially because these other (careless) employees have been there for longer than my husband’s almost 2 years, and also because they have seen that (no matter what), my husband will keep doing the amazing job that he is doing.
I know it seems like I have gone off on a tangent, but I promise this all relates to pride. You see, my husband, for his pride, is unable to do a bad job. While I might not suggest he do a bad job, I would suggest he stop going above and beyond.
Why cover someone’s @ss and clean their station when they are the same ones that are poking fun at you, spreading rumors about you, and just waiting for you to leave the room to talk about you?
My husband has two reasons:
- He does not want to get in trouble because it doesn’t get done. I completely understand this, however, if it is not his responsibility, he should not get in trouble. He says he gets reprimanded anyway. I understand (although not completely) his desire “not to be a snitch,” (another Italian trait), however he does not need to say, “Well tell so-and-so.” What he could say is, “Oh, I’m not sure who was in charge of that station tonight, but I did take care of mine and additionally did x, y, and z.” If only to show that he is willing to go above-and-beyond to benefit the business, though not willing to pick up the slack for lazy coworkers (who are paid the same if not more than him).
- For his Pride, he does not want to show “weakness,” or that he “needs help.” And, my friends, that is utter folly. Not only does it create more work for him (perpetuating the idea that he’s ok with being everyone else’s workhorse), it also aggravates him. Rather than getting on a slacker’s case, he will get frustrated, do extra work, and come home tired and angry. We fight because of this. We fight because he is not satisfied and feels used by his job. But half the time, it is his fault.