“This is (was) an eight-hour job …!”

During Pop’s early professional years, he had just taken over the “General Cashier & Accounts Payable” position within a business accounting department.  He walked into the new job full of energy, excitement and willingness to do things right.  

He had just recently graduated, and the position was a new challenge for him. 

On his first day, upon arriving at the workplace, he met both the Finance Controller (the “big boss”) and his direct supervisor.  Both welcomed him in, and he shortly found himself being trained by his supervisor, whom had been until then responsible for the responsibilities he was about to take over.

A few days of methodic training followed and once “fully trained” by his supervisor, Pop started doing things as he had been told to do so.  Shortly, Pop found himself working 11 to 12 hours a day, to complete what was being expected from him, on a daily basis … his supervisor stating: ” You are not fast enough…! ”.

Pop worked on his speed but still, this wasn’t right.  He went to meet the “big boss” and shared his frustration with the amount of time the process was taking him… only to hear:

“This is an eight-hour job… if you need twelve hours to do it, it is your problem…!”

Pop had just moved into a new country and was enjoying life beyond the workplace.  Quitting was not a desired outcome.  So instead, he took that sentence as a challenge.  He dived into fully understanding how the process was currently being executed, what specific output was expected, and most importantly, what was the goal.  After having understood these, he started thinking on how it could be done differently…

Within a few weeks, Pop had redesigned the process and leveraged tools readily available at the time, to automate repetitive tasks that were taking him hours to perform.  It was taking him only five hours, and he had managed to improve the quality and accuracy of his output.

A few weeks later, Pop was leaving early when the “big boss” stopped him and said:

What is this?  Part-time…??”

Pop looked at her, smiled and said:

“Hey, this is an eight-hour job…, if I can do it in five, it is my problem…!!”

Both laughed, and she wished Pop a great afternoon…

Soon after that day, Pop shared with her that he’d complete all the work assignments he had committed to, but that he was going to move on afterwards – he needed bigger challenges to tackle.  She smiled and shared:

“I saw that coming…”

Our take-away:

Never assume what’s in front of you is the only way things can be done…

Dare to challenge the “status-quo”!

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