Accountability in Life


Is it just me, or does it seem like people’s sense of accountability is fleeting these days? This probably sounds like an odd topic, but it’s something I’ve been pondering. Accountability is one of those things your boss probably tells you about. There’s probably a motivational poster regarding it in your office somewhere too. I’m not just talking about accountability from a work standpoint, but a human standpoint as well. Personally, I see a lack of it when I see people breaking simple rules that make life easier for everyone. To me, when someone shows no regard for the people and things around them, they aren’t being accountable as a human. Also, I group instances in which people don’t pay for their mistakes into this category. It’s a common thing to say people should man up and admit to their mistakes. But, I’m starting to see more mistakes being made and fewer people actually learning from them. If you aren’t accountable for something you’ve done, how can you ever improve?

Accountability: As a Worker

AccountabilityThis should be the easy one. If you go into a job or career with the attitude that any mistakes you make will always be fixed by someone else, you’re the problem. Sure, sometimes the workload gets formidable. And who likes having to fix things? But when it comes down to it, people skirting their duties always leads to larger issues piling up over time. There’s the minimum wage debate gaining attention, for instance. Let’s say you’re an employee at a fast food joint who consistently doesn’t care about the quality of your work. Over time, this kind of attitude can lead people to ask why someone in that job field deserves a raise. People always complain when their order is wrong and ask why someone who can’t get it right the first time deserves $15 an hour. Why fuel their aversion to you and people like you getting better pay and treatment? That’s the big picture that a lot of people often overlook. Understandably, if you’re an entry-level worker of a less-than-desirable job, you likely just want to do the bare minimum required to keep it. That also speaks to corporate accountability. Executives who run companies with only their profit motive in mind don’t always realize or care about the damage it can do. All companies want profit, of course, and it isn’t always bad. But people who pay themselves 300 times more than what they pay their average worker aren’t held accountable for being so greedy. This hurts society on many levels.

As a Consumer

An accountable consumer is something that speaks more to society in general than to business. I’m not talking about just the consumption of goods and services, but the consumption of the planet as well. Someone who goes into an establishment as a customer and leaves a mess behind, for instance, has no accountability. Companies put out so many standards for their employees to follow that sometimes the little flourishes lose meaning. Like making someone say a catch phrase when they greet a customer or word things in a certain way. No one holds consumers to a standard of professionalism. Treating workers with respect at their jobs and being an organized and considerate customer is something that goes out the window with some people. Again, not just as a customer in a store, but as an inhabitant of Earth as well. If you treat all of your surroundings like a trash can and leave litter and pollution in your wake it negatively impacts the big picture. Let’s say you throw litter on the ground or don’t maintain your lawn. If someone on the market for a new home sees your neighborhood they might be hesitant to live there if they see trash everywhere. This can hurt property values, people’s morale, and the planet in general.

Yeah, I know I’m probably just over thinking this. But it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. Some people don’t care about structure and harmony, and it shows when they think only of themselves. When people only look for the easy way out and the quickest path to their own personal gratification everyone else suffers.