Martin Koníček


Employees like those from an African village in your company, who work for three bananas a day? You better get rid of them!

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You may have heard about a village in Africa where Western organizations attempted to build a well so the villagers wouldn't have to walk kilometers for water. Initially successful, the well soon clogged, and the villagers returned to their old ways, unwilling to clean the well for communal benefit.

Why mention this? This isn't just an African issue. Many employees in Czech companies exhibit similar behavior. I recall sitting near a shared printer in a corporate office. A person tried to print, found no paper, and instead of refilling it or calling the ServiceDesk as instructed, went to another printer. I ended up calling the ServiceDesk myself, even though I didn't need to print.

Companies, even corporations, are often full of such "Africans," adhering to the mindset of "don't fix what doesn't directly affect you." This is especially prevalent in IT departments, where employees, regardless of intelligence, tend to address only immediate problems. For instance, if a server is down, just restart it.

I once worked in a small company with a colleague I'd describe as a "stressaholic." He'd arrive at work after a sleepless night, stressed about server issues, taking frequent smoking breaks to cope, and leaving late. When I joined, I arrived at nine and left at five, with no after-hours calls. I methodically addressed the non-urgent but crucial issues – metaphorically "cleaning the well." Within a month, the manager noticed a peaceful, issue-free environment, allowing him more family time.

Many companies slowly realize that "cheap" labor isn't worth it.

Some people thrive on internal drama, constantly running around and working overtime, yet never addressing the important, non-urgent tasks. They're like someone whose car breaks down due to neglected maintenance.

Those who know me understand that I'm very laid-back and methodical. I avoid rushing and stress at work. Occasionally, emergencies happen, but they're rare.

I even had to improve my communication skills to internally "sell" what I do, as it often involves invisible tasks. For example, setting up a monitoring system to detect faulty RAID disks, preventing a major data loss that nobody had previously concerned themselves with.

Yes, I'm selective about the companies I work with and demand good working conditions. But in return, I ensure the company progresses, reducing consistent stress for managers and owners, allowing them more time for family and personal interests. This, I believe, is invaluable to many companies.

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