10 Things You're Doing at Work That Say "I Don't Care"

Do your actions scream: "I'm over it!" Or are you that stressed out? If you're doing these things at work you're sending the wrong message.

We’ve all been at a restaurant where the waiter forgets your special request and looks as though he’d rather be just about anywhere else in that moment. Then there’s the grocery store clerk who avoids eye contact and is annoyed with your coupons. Clearly these people don’t care, but is it possible we’re sending similar signals at work without realizing it?

"These days, we’re all so busy and just getting through the day can feel like enough," says Jon Gordon, author of The Carpenter (Wiley, 2014). "But anytime you’re stressed, you’re acting out of survival. Even the most well-meaning among us will come across as not caring."

Gordon learned how important caring is to success during the recession. He hired a carpenter to do some work in his house and asked him how he was holding up in the bad economy. "He told me he was having the best year yet," says Gordon. "I quickly realized it was because he was exceptional—he cared about his work. When someone puts more time, energy, and effort into their work, people notice."

The first step to showing more care is realizing the things you’re unknowingly doing that are sending the wrong message. Gordon shares 10 things that say "I don’t care," and the actions you can take to reverse the perception:

1. You Don’t Touch Base on Projects

Sometimes no news is good news, but when it comes to working with others on projects, silence can send a bad signal.

"When you don’t proactively reach out to provide information and updates, people can assume the worst and it will seems as though you don’t care," says Gordon. The solution is simple: touch base often. Instead of forcing a colleague to ask if you’ve finished compiling those statistics, for example, send an email saying you’ve done so.

"It’s a good idea to get into the habit of sending daily or weekly updates not only to team members, but to clients, too," says Gordon.

Read more: 10 Things You're Doing at Work That Say "I Don't Care"


You are in school to grow not just in skills and information but in strength of character-to acquire habits of sound judgement, a sense of responsibility, personal toughness (perseverance), and self–mastery (ability to say to yourself no or later). You are really out to improve in professional/personal powers of concentrating mind and will and getting along well with people.

Remember: your overall purpose is to develop powers of mind and will, not just to absorb information or parrot back answers or passively swim through “material.” An education is what you have left over once you’ve forgotten the material.


Fast and Furious

Growing up in a Media Saturated World

“Growing Up Fast and Furious,” is a collection of essays edited by Wayne Warburton and Danya Braunstein (The Federation Press).

In his contribution Warburton, Deputy Director of the Children and Families Research Center at Macquarie University (Sydney), noted that in the United States children aged 8-18 are exposed to an average of almost 11 hours of media each day. Children in other countries might not reach this level, but they are not far behind, he added.

In recent years media is not only more portable but it is also easier for children to access it in multiple places within and outside the home. This means it is increasingly difficult for parents to monitor their children’s media consumption, Warburton observed.

Read more: Fast and Furious

Are You a Tree Sloth?

The answer to this question may, at first glance, seem simple, but it requires its own discernment. We're not wrestling here with a simple polarity of Sloth versus Diligence. If that were true, then questions of how much energy to put into pursuing natural and spiritual goods would end with the simple answer: "More is more." But the virtue of Diligence (like all the others) can be caricatured. Move far to the right of the Golden Mean, and you're liable to the neurosis of Fanaticism. It isn't always easy for outsiders to distinguish heroic efforts of Diligence from unbalanced zealotry. At some point, we have to judge things by their fruits.

Read more: Are You a Tree Sloth?

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