I honestly don't know what's worse. For those readers (both of you) who don't know, I work at a small, privately owned bank in Bowling Green, KY (home of the Hilltoppers!!!) I consider myself kind of middle of the road. I am capable of working very hard when needed, and I am capable of, let's say, pacing myself. For instance, I'm writing this blog entry while at work. I'm pacing myself.
But while here I've seen all kinds of work ethics. Some people work hard, some work smart, and some serve no purpose except to hold down the floor tiles. At first glance it would seem the hard working person is the best. Maybe they don't always take the time to find the most efficient way to work, but they're willing to stay until the job is done right. They are far from my favorite.
Some people I've worked with are the hard workers. They're the first ones here, last to leave, work holidays, work weekends, everything is work and work is everything. I can't get behind that. They're the people who will interrupt casual conversation to talk about work and seem legitimately disgusted by those who discuss anything other than work. They may get the job done, but they create an environment of unease and stress for everyone including themselves.
We had another girl who worked as an administrative assistant to one of our main lenders who was the polar opposite. She couldn't have cared less about her job and how well she did it. It infuriated me because as an accountant, I had to catch and correct her mistakes. When I'd approach her she'd say all the right things, then proceed to make the same mistakes next time.
The person who works smart is the person I appreciate. They keep their stress level low, they realize everything is fixable and they find the most efficient way to get the job done and stick with it. They care about their work and the final product, they just don't care if their work ethic is noticed by others. They know at the end of the day, both the smart worker and the hard worker can point to a product well done and be proud. But the hard worker nearly had a stroke while getting the job done and the smart worker clocked out a few minutes early.