Education Career Services

February 3, 2009

Buddy, Can You Pay the Fare?

The following was submitted by Robert Swanson and I felt everyone could benefit from his story and wisdom.  For those working with students, this is definately a keeper:bus-no-background1

This is not the way to win friends, so be warned…  A man I know was complaining that he’d been with Disney World for 9 years and still only made $13 an hour.  I asked him what he did there.  “I’m a bus driver.  I ferry people from one park to the other.”


I told him, “You should thank them for paying you that much.”  My buddy was stunned.


“But… I’ve been there for 9 years!”


As an employer I hear that amazingly often.  This is pretty strong, but my friend should be ashamed of himself.  Longevity is no reason for reward, especially with a company that provides free classes to improve or develop new skills.


Surrounded by opportunity, he did nothing but his duty.  Sure, he provided an important service and treated his passengers with respect.  He knew the park and routes; he had a chauffer’s license (provided by Disney).  In short, he did nothing that any employee couldn’t do after two weeks on the job – and at $9 an hour.  My friend is completely dispensable.


Reward comes with achievement not duty.  It comes from impacting the bottom line either through improving processes, developing new revenue streams, increasing sales… in short, either saving the company money or making the company money. 


If you consistently improve the business, you’re entitled to a share in the profits through either a raise or a bonus.  If you just fulfill your responsibilities, all you deserve is a cost-of-living adjustment.  Your business philosophy must be to make yourself indispensable to the company by making it more profitable.  Otherwise you’re just taking up space that someone else could fill who does embody that philosophy.  Make it in your employer’s best interest to keep you around.  Make them profitable and they’ll make you profitable.



Robert’s right, especially in such lean times.  I definitely encourage submissions from fellow professionals.  Together we can make a difference,


Danny Huffman

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