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He’s Gettin’ Something I Ain’t Gettin’



Author:   Glenn Shepard
Date:   July 22,  2014
Category:   Management




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Dear Glenn,


What is an acceptable percentage of time missed from work? I had an employee who I thought missed a lot, but when I did the math it was 9%. It doesn’t seem like a lot.

    On the other hand, when we only work 180 days out of the year, 9% means she missed 16 days which is like she was out 2 days per month, or 1 day every other week, which does seem like a lot.


Brenda in Bardstown, KY



Dear Brenda,


There are no hard and fast numbers, but 9% is high. To put that in perspective, assume someone is making $50,000 a year. If they miss 9% of their scheduled work time, you paid $4,500 for work they didn't perform.

     Or imagine that you're sentenced to 10 years in prison. Serving an extra 9% would mean almost an extra 11 months.

     Thanks for your question.


- Glenn in Nashville

Click here to submit a question. If yours is selected, you'll win your choice of the "I'm the Boss, Not the Babysitter" or "Work Is Not for Sissies"  coffee mug.

Politicians know that a sure-fire way to get votes is to fan the flames of envy by proclaiming that the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer.


While that may be true in some cases, the implication behind it — that the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor — isn’t.


People like Jordan Belfort (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Bernie Madoff, who made their fortunes at the expense of others, are the exception. They are not the rule.


Legendary country music DJ Gerry House summed it up best when he said it all boils down to a matter of “He’s gettin’ something I ain’t gettin’, and I’m not gonna be happy as long as he does”.


The United States is actually a great place to be poor because it provides so much opportunity for upward mobility. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, said:


“In 1985, 38% of poor households owned a home. By 2005 it was 43%. And these homes were of better quality than the 1985 homes. In 1985, 17% of these homes had central air conditioning, and in 2005, 50% did. 56% of homes owned by poor households had washing machines in 1985. In 2005, it was 64%.”


Buying into the toxic belief that someone else getting more means you must get less is what Dr. Stephen Covey referred to as the “Scarcity Mentality” in his best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.


People with a Scarcity Mentality believe one person has to lose in order for another to win, and this isn’t limited to money. They also have difficulty sharing credit, power, and recognition.


They have a hard time celebrating other people’s successes because they believe that it somehow takes away from their own.


You’ll see it in employees who feel threatened when others are recognized for achievement. This is tied to their feelings of low self-worth and poor self-esteem.


Successful people have what Dr. Covey referred to as the “Abundance Mentality”. They believe there’s plenty out there for everybody, and don’t waste time worrying about what other people have.


This requires that people have high self-worth, strong self-esteem, and are secure in themselves.


No surprise, good managers have the Abundance Mentality, and teach it to their team members.




To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard




P.S.  Those who resent high achievers usually think they’re set for life, and don’t realize how much downward mobility there is at the top. According to The Wall Street Journal, only 25% of those in the top 1/100 of 1% of income earners in 1996 were still in the top category in 2005.



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