How well do you do your job? How prosperous is your council district? What is the SPS of your school? How many customers are lined up for you to cut their hair? Are you the last person that will ever get laid off on the job? These are questions that cause us to reflect on just how well we do what we say we are so good at. We are not good because we say we are, but because our customers, clients, students, and constituents see the good in us. It’s why they keep coming back. It’s why they go to the ballot box to re-elect. It’s why everyone else gets fired, and not you.
As a youth, I attended the Louisiana Baptist Youth Encampment every summer at Southern University in Baton Rouge. At the event, during the general camp meeting, the young men and women would battle off in a spirit song that their group was better than the other. We’d sing our version of the song “We are the B-E-S-T, Best!” We’d sing that we would wear our best right on top of our chests, letting all know that we were who we said we were. It was a fun song and a fun experience for which we waited in anticipation. Although it was just a spirit song, the lyrics were inbred in our consciousness. As an adult, I still hear the words as I go about my daily affairs. “I am the B-E-S-T, Best of all the R-E-S-T, Rest.” Am I?
Why do customers use you over the other set of businesses? Why do women drive 300 hundred miles just to get their hair maintained by a beautician in another city when there were plenty at home? Why do some barbers have a line of customers waiting on them and some barbers sit waiting for customers? Why do people choose your lawn service? Why do they buy clothing from your boutique over another boutique? Why do they use your band over another band?
If you are a businessman, the quality of your operation is what makes you chosen over the rest. There’s a level of customer satisfaction that will always determine the success or failure of a business. Many times, the product or service doesn’t measure up to that offered by another business. However, it is in the rendering of that service or the marketing of a particular product that keeps customers coming back. When I was a kid, there was a guy by the name of Joe Pendleton who used to operate a service station on DeSiard Street. It sat right across from the graveyard, next door to the present Robinson’s Barber Shop. He would always give suckers to the kids when customers came and purchased gasoline and car service from him. It was just gasoline. Customers could have gotten that anywhere. However, it was the way he went about delivering his service that made it a quality stop over the rest. As far as being the B-E-S-T, Best, his level of service was better than all the R-E-S-T, Rest.
If you are an elected official, you really should do more than show up for a meeting, take pictures with babies and have hot dog parties at election time. Do something in your district. Make something happen. Make a home visit. Be approachable and make your constituents feel that they have a say in your vote when you make it. Meet with them and get their opinion before you cast your vote on a matter. Know them by their first name and show up for the events of their lives. This ensures that you won’t have to spend so much money campaigning during election season and not too many will choose to oppose your incumbency. You may not be the richest politician or the one who is the governor or the President. However, for your small district, to them, you are the B-E-S-T, Best, and their district is better than all the R-E-S-T, Rest.
Be that principal or teacher that kids talk about for ages. Be the one that the preacher has to sit you down at the funeral because you’ve gone over your time limit for comments. Be the one that principals come and evaluate your class, not because its required, but because you teach so well that even the principal comes to be taught. It’s not just a 730-230 gig to you, you give it your all and your student’s experience will attest to it.
Be the one that is irreplaceable. Make yourself relevant and do the best job you can do, so when it’s time to cut the workforce, you are the last to be considered. You may have a G.E.D. and your co-worker may have a Bachelor’s Degree. However, the employer is going to know who gets the job done. When it’s time to make decisions, if the G.E.D. worker puts out a maximum effort, not only saves the company money, but helps bring in a profit over the Bachelor’s Degree worker, guess which one is going to get cut first? Hopefully its the one with the Bachelor’s Degree, if the employer had any business sense.
Whether it be a teacher in the classroom, a City Councilman or School Board member, a beautician or barber, a photographer or lawn maintenance specialist, do your job, and do it well. With every new day, approach it as if its your last chance to do what you do. You’re not the best because you say you are…your work speaks for you. It will sing for you. And it’s lyrics will attest to the fact that what you do is better than the R-E-S-T, Rest!