The Grand old Art of Job Motivation

02Apr09

Out of the millions of people all over the globe who have jobs they don’t particularly like and even those who are frantic for such a job because they are unemployed, I know I am one of the lucky few who does have a job that I really love.

You would think that would be motivation enough for me to do my job properly wouldn’t you? Nopes! Well, it’s not exactly that I don’t do my job ‘properly’, it’s just that I drag my feet and wait till the last possible minute of the deadline before handing in my work, even though I have been given plenty of time.

Considering that my current job is one I have always wanted to do and considering also that I got this blessing rather late in life, before which I had a series of crappy jobs which I hated, I am rather surprised at myself.

I didn’t think I would need any pushing to be constantly motivated on this job but somehow, I guess I am one of those lazy, laid back people who always need a push. Ugh! The problem is, I don’t particularly like the ‘pushing’ either. Most Sri Lankan managers have never heard of the ‘positive motivation’ that they keep carping about in management books these days. They still live in the grand old days when motivation of the masses was through the threat of cutting off their heads or throwing them into the dungeons.

It works though – I find myself too lethargic to start and get through with my work until the deadlines draw near. And then, I rush around in a burst of adrenaline and successfully finish the job at the last minute because I know I’ll be hauled over the coals otherwise.

I had been given a week to do some fairly simple stuff that would take only two hours to do but since the deadline is tomorrow, I was taking my own sweet time about it as I usually do. Then suddenly and completely unexpectedly, I got called into the superior’s office and asked to hand in the work. Huh? I had not even started on it! Of course I wasn’t stupid enough to tell her that – I just gave an obviously lame excuse like I was still working on it and that I still wasn’t done ‘researching’ on it.

Whew! By the time I left her office, I felt about two inches tall (or is that small?). I couldn’t help feeling irritated either, if she wanted it well within the deadline, she could have told me and I would have done it. That however is not the point. I know I should finish my work as early as possible instead of as late as possible but somehow though I keep telling myself that a dozen times a day, I am simply not motivated enough to keep away from the siren like call of kottu, facebook or youtube to settle down and do my work. (Well, at least I am not the only one – thanks to these same tendencies in my colleagues, most websites are now blocked at the office. I really ought to write another post about this someday. It’s just like the race between the scientists who keep coming up with newer and newer vaccines and antibiotics and the microorganisms which keep on evolving to counteract them. They keep blocking various sites and we keep coming up with various proxy sites).

So today, I gave myself a good talking to; If I didn’t want to feel the whip on my back again, I better speed up on my own. This reminds me of a motivational lecture I once heard (though I didn’t consider it very motivating at the time):

Japan is one of the world’s biggest fishing nations with its people having a seemingly insatiable appetite for fish. So much so that fish caught around their own waters is not enough to cater to the demand and Japanese trawlers keep going further and further out to sea to increase the catch.

The only problem was, it took a couple of days or even weeks to get back to shore and so the fish wouldn’t be freshly caught. The Japanese being err… highly refined in their taste buds objected to this, they didn’t want frozen fish. So the fishermen kept the fish alive in small tanks till they got back to shore. The fish however were apparently despondent at being taken out of their roomy abode and being dumped into slum like dwellings which they had to share with several of their fellow beings and so didn’t swim around perkily and cheerfully as fish are wont to do.

The discerning Japanese palate detected a taste in the fish here too. They were apparently still not as tasty as the freshly caught fish which had been energetic until the time of its catch. How to solve this dilemma? The ingenious fishermen came up with the perfect motivation to keep the fish energetic and get their blood pumping – They introduced a predatory fish into the tank. The predator ended up eating a few of the fish before the journey back to shore was over but it was certainly successful in keeping all the other fish constantly on the move.

End of Story!

This was the trainer’s idea of what can be achieved if the proper motivation is induced. I have since wondered if the discerning Japanese palate didn’t notice a difference in taste because of the stress induced in the fish. I mean shouldn’t the fish be happy and carefree when caught to taste better? Guess I will never know now.

What I do know is that I am going to be swimming around quite frantically on my own now. I don’t want a piranha introduced into my tank to keep me motivated.

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3 Responses to “The Grand old Art of Job Motivation”

  1. All we’ve got is TWITTER!

    Fish yummy… scared shitless fish yummier!

    K… getting back to work… šŸ˜›

  2. 2 Tulie

    Thanks Messiah, So now I know!

    Scared shitless fish is yummier eh? Guess the shit in the other fish made it a little less yummy!

  3. Hi there, all the time i used to check website posts here in the early hours iin the break of day, since i love tto
    find out more and more.


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