Is Professionalism Dead?

When I go to the doctor, dentist, bank or supermarket I am there for a very specific reason and I expect a certain level of service, expertise and professionalism.  I am not there to hear the receptionist, teller, cashier, doctor or nurse discuss plans for the evening, re-hash their weekend activities or gripe about a boss or nasty co-worker.  Is it too much to ask that while these people are in front of patients or clients that they behave professionally?

I want confidence in the service that I am receiving and expect all service providers to add to this confidence.  My assurance goes way down as I listen to mundane, annoying and sometimes disturbing conversations, watch as bubble gum is chomped, blown and popped or hear the staff’s lunch menu selection without regard to their unintended audience.

The same holds true for some people’s selection of attire.  Uniforms have been adopted in some service lines for a very good reason.  Business attire serves the same purpose.  While
uniforms and business dress increase confidence the opposite occurs when clothing is unprofessional.  I’m appalled (and embarrassed) by the way some people go to work!

Interestingly, while writing this blog entry I completely by accident came across a survey on professionalism done by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania.  Evidently, for the past few yeas they have been conducting a survey on the level of professionalism among entry-level workers.  I was not surprised at the findings which revealed that both HR representatives and managers found areas where professionalism was lacking.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid that some behaviors are beginning to be viewed as acceptable due to widespread existence of those behaviors.  However, just because they exist does not make them right!  In case you are interested, here is a link to the findings of the 2012 survey

So, for all those lucky enough to have jobs, think about the impression you are making and for those who are seeking jobs please be courteous to those whom you will be serving.  And remember, if you can out-beat the competition during your interview just merely by acting more professional than the other candidates it may help you get an offer!

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