Discrimination at work isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I overheard a conversation the other day between two employees at a local restaurant. One of them said, “I am so sick of our boss. He is always discriminating against me for coming in a few minutes late or not getting my work done as fast as Joe.”

The second employee turned to the first and said, “It serves you right. Show up on time. Do better work. It’s not really that hard.”

I held my laugh in until I was out of earshot, but it seems like I hear this kind of thing more and more. People feel like they are entitled to a job or that all kinds of discrimination are bad/wrong/evil.

Not true.

See, we won’t discriminate against you for your age, gender, etc. But work performance? I can discriminate against you all day long.

“Discrimination” isn’t a blanket defense for poor work habits. Just an FYI.

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  • 5 thoughts on “Discrimination at work

    1. It has always been legal to discriminate against poor performers, jerks and a^&holes, as long as that is the only reason they are being discriminated against.

    2. My new favorite word….’sedulous’ as in “showing dedication and diligence” I was reading about a book written in 1859 called “Self Help” by Samuel Smiles. He uses this word often. His book is about well…..you guessed it — improving our lot in life by improving the way we think and act. Imagine written almost 200 years ago and still ringing true today. Your post was perfect timing. Hard work, diligence, dedication, are keys to our success. Who ever that woman was talking to had the privilege of being in the company of a very wise friend.

      Thanks for the post Ben. Keep up the awesome work!

    3. You’re right. Bosses just want results, and they may play favorites when it comes to 2 equal employees, but if you work harder and contribute more, they’ll end up liking you more.

    4. Ben – – –

      Excellent point. Looking up the word “discrimination,” I see that one meaning is “the power of making fine distinctions.” In that way, I’d say that our job (as managers or HR people) is to discriminate (make fine distinctions) — between good performance and mediocre performance, between someone marginally productive and someone highly productive, etc.

      Michael B

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