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In New York it is extremely hard to fire people. I find myself continually work beside people with a  poor work ethic. I’m fortunate that I’m a person who’s never missed a day who has never called off and works hard. I have obtained this by living in very conservative areas in where misbehavior was not tolerated.  Yet I have co-workers who walk out on the job because I arrived and they say they no longer need to work the rest of the shift because I’m here to cover. I look at how well I work and I look at these kids despite not being terribly older than them at age 26, and there are times I just want to punch them in the face.  I haven’t punched anyone in my 10 years of work expereance but the imacuraty of some people makes it hard.

How would you instill a quality work ethic in young people? Or would you allow life to do that instsid.


I’d be cautious about adopting too much of a “better than” attitude. In brevity, don’t be too petty. Let your work ethic and quality performance set you apart. Establish good working relationships with the people who will be beneficial to your rise.

Finger pointing has a history of backfiring. Chances are, somebody out there thinks something similar of you, or has at one point. That’s not a dig, it’s just my experience.

If I yell at the younger/lower on the totem pole guys at work because they’re slacking, it doesn’t matter if I’m in the right or not. Making them feel bad won’t be likely to improve performance. But there are effective methods to employ. Reminding them “we are a team, and everything one of us doesn’t do, the other has to pick up the slack”. Asking, rather than telling. I swear, there’s an entire class in “manager school” about the prompt “do me a favor”.

Honestly, building a solid team in small businesses, regardless of trade, has always been more about inclusion than exclusion. Making somebody feel bad will just make them quit or be spitefully useless. Then you have to hire somebody new and hope it works out better. Show someone how to be a part of a team and you will go farther.


“Instill”… I think there’s a HUGE misconception about what we can do to change other people. Changing requires the other person to care, and generally takes a long time.

The Boot Camp myth misses a significant point.  These slovenly, “lazy” jackasses DECIDED to join the military.  They made the decision to make a change, and then the Drill Sergeant simply holds them accountable to that decisions.  The Drill Sergeant can only work miracles because the person decided to be there…

I say always do your best, and never feel bad about jumping ship to a company with a better culture… It’s easier for you to find a new job, than it is to change another person…


Young people need to have a good time. I was in a similar position when I was slightly older than you, of being in an office with teenagers and 20 year olds. In my opinion what tends to work is a challenge, something for them to work towards (perhaps competition between themselves, likes they do in sales), because often they don’t have many overheads – no kids, no rent etc, so they need a reason to work hard. Young kids can be irritating, but they can be fun too.


I’m not in New York, but I am in the New York -esque city of Texas i.e. Houston and see a similar attitude among people down here with lack of work ethic among all ages and not just younger people.

For me, I’m actually leaving the city and I’m working on moving to Austin, TX when my lease is up on my apartment.


I don’t know if you can or want to do that at this current time so maybe try your best to educate and instill in your fellow coworkers and/or provide tips to management who can instill in them better work ethic tips to be a more well rounded employee.




Benjamin Conner