September 22, 2009 16 Comments AUTHOR: brucemarler CATEGORIES: Random Tags: , ,

Where The Heck Did Professionalism Go!

So, this was not my planned post today but sometimes a rant just needs to be done real time.


Over the past few weeks I have been spending quite a bit of time reviewing resumes from various job ads I have out right now for sales people. For the most part the people I have spoke to, met, or interviewed have been good people and whether I wanted to hire them or if the position was right for them I came away with a good feeling. But there is actually a pretty high percentage of people that are just plain and simple unprofessional. If you are in sales or marketing you are the face of the company which means the way you present yourself in an interview or the timeliness of your communication is very important.

I continue to be amazed by people that talk about how much they need a job or employment while on the phone but then show up in a T-shirt and jeans for a sales position interview. Seriously? You expect me to send you out to speak to customers about my product when you come to sell yourself to me dressed like that. Sheesh….

In the past week I have driven 70 plus miles twice to do interviews with people that for some reason or another could not drive to where I was located, I understand that, sometimes schedules do not allow for them to come to me. Well guess what…. Both times the people, two different people, did not show up. One decided to call 10 minutes before interview time with a pathetic excuse but said she could likely meet that afternoon. Well 3pm comes I decide to call and see if it may still happen although I already knew the answer. Well same pathetic excuse as before so interview off but she had the nerve to want to reschedule for this week. Good luck on that.

The person today, well this person just did not show up, did not answer calls, nothing. I truly believe, and I am not sure how I want to articulate this, but people simply feel entitled. They feel like they do not need to present themselves in a professional way, care about being on time, but still get everything those people in the world that work hard and work in a business like and professional manner do. These are the same people that complain about the people with money having the nice car while they are scraping gas money up and then blaming the person with the nice car for their problems. Maybe just maybe that person with the nice car worked hard to get something, or took a chance to get somewhere while you waited for it to be handed to you.

These are the same people complaining about not finding any job opportunities when they are the ones missing the boat by expecting it to just be handed to them. Unemployment is bad right now, no doubt, but do not complain about not having a job if you cannot either a) present yourself properly, or b) show up!!!!!

I have been hiring or managing people in some way or another for 15 years. I have never witnessed what I have witnessed as of late. Is it a certain age group? I refuse to believe that, I know to many good people that work hard in all age groups. Is it that companies are only letting go of bad people, nope, thats not the answer. I know people that were top performers for several years running that are out of work right now. I do not have the answer but I can say I am very disappointed, this really is not about the specific individuals I mention above, they are just examples. But I think this is more about a deterioration in work ethic and professionalism that is showing itself more and more every day.

On a positive note, for a good read about a good friend of mine and someone who has worked hard read the story about Aron Meystedt at DNJournal that came out today. A success story that came from work and not making excuses.


  1. bruce 7 years ago says:


    I have seen Idiocracy:) It is quite hilarious.

    And funny enough I have Atlas Shrugged on my bookshelf and have not read it yet but it is on the list to read soon. Seems people that know me keep pointing me to that book and tell me I will enjoy it.

    BTW, got your email, I will be in contact in a couple days. Thanks!

  2. Matt 7 years ago says:

    Unprofessionalism is definitely on my (growing) list of pet peeves in the business world. Downright ridiculous that your prospects couldn’t show up for their own interview.

    Right now I’m reading a wonderful book about hard work and earnest efforts: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Written in the late ’50s, so I think it proves the attitude of “entitlement” stretches back at least several generations– though I will agree with 60 Minutes this problem appears to be growing.

    If you haven’t seen the movie ‘Idiocracy’, check out the first few minutes for a hilarious take on the root cause of this lackluster attitude so pervasive among Americans today.

  3. Stephen 7 years ago says:

    Bruce, great article.

    I have been in the position of hiring people too. It was in the very bizarre entertainment industry. I went through 10 different candidates for the simple job of FRONT DESK SECRETARY. Can’t tell you the real oddballs that came in that I just said “we’ll call you” after about 3 minutes.

    Finally I found one person, older with some experience. She acted as if she knew what to do, but because i was producing a national TV production in Las Vegas at the time, I think she was waiting for her chance. Her chance came:

    During the show, we collected ticket sales and sponsorship fees remaining for the contestants, somewhere in the amount of about $30,000. It was her job to collect that money.

    This “Front Desk Secretary” collecte the cash and carried a wad of about $15k in her purse on the first day. I asked her to give all the cash she collected to me and she actually said “i’ve got it under control, I have to account for it…” !!!!!!! WHAT!

    lol, I said “give me the cash right now”. and she did, but unwillingly. She gave me the stink eye for the next three days, and I asked hotel personnel to collect ticket fees, which I paid them for. I fired her after the show. What was sad was she had the ability to handle production issues, but she had financial problems that I think seduced her into maybe pocketing cash she shouldn’t have. I couldn’t prove it, but I came up about $5k short.

    Anyway, finding a good, honest employee is hard. But you can tell pretty quickly by these three factors:

    1) on time
    2) dressed nice
    3) looking you in the eye, asking about the company, and what you want from her/him.

    I know what you mean

  4. bruce 7 years ago says:

    @Randall, thanks much!

    @TeenDomainer/Brian – You are a step above many adults in your professional manner already. It is great to see people like yourself coming up in the ranks:)

  5. TeenDomainer 7 years ago says:

    It amazes me that people would act like this. It almost seems that they do not want the jobs. I am well awarer of how to act right. Being a teen I am faced with this problem every day when working in an adult dominated industry.

    Brian Diener

  6. Randall Brown 7 years ago says:

    Bruce, People now day even me do not know much of professionalism, But I do know to come in dress pants shoes tie and Shirt. If I was located near you I would send you my resume and come on a interview.

    Good luck on the Staff search.

  7. AnnG 7 years ago says:

    I am pondering this…and I think it may just be that, as the overall wealth of the nation increased, and those folks had kids, they started treating the kids like THEY were the ones that earned all that money. I remember being paddled in junior high school by a teacher for not paying attention in class (it was health class, he was complaining about Nixon, and I was reading Tolkien instead). They don’t paddle kids anymore, at home or at school. But I can’t help but think a little swat on the behind helps set some people’s minds straight at key “teachable moments.” I’m afraid, Bruce, it will be up to you and any other employers out there to give these young’uns their well-deserved, and much-delayed swat, by making it clear to them why they are not getting the job. Don’t think of it as being mean, think of it as doing them a favor.

    • bruce 7 years ago says:


      First off, GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU:)

      I am afraid you maybe right, I honestly think the lady last week was shocked when I did not act happy that she had to cancel twice in the SAME DAY. What is scary is these are adults.


  8. Kevin M. 7 years ago says:

    “Welcome to the Entitled Age!”

    I believe CBS’s 60 Minutes (or a likewise show) just did a show which included this scenerio. This seems to be more of a norm, than is realized. They applied, so you ‘should hire them’. Dress is not important. Nor manners. They were given everything when they grew up, and they still expect it! Just wait until their ‘parents chime in’ to explain ‘why they should be hired, or given a raise. (and yes, they will and do!)

    • bruce 7 years ago says:

      @Kevin, I think you are right, I am afraid this is becoming more of the norm and where it heads is even scarier. I can only imagine a phone call from a 26 year olds parent, I am afraid that it would not be pretty…… My professionalism may leave at that point.
      I am sure they will be wondering why I am not rushing to call them back if they try to reach out to me to reschedule.

  9. Scott 7 years ago says:

    I think professionalism may be hiding in the same place as decent manners and morality.

    • bruce 7 years ago says:

      Scott, I think you may be right. Someone needs to find the key to unlock the door to let them out….

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