The Easiest Way To Get What You Want And Achieve What You Deserve

tiara princessHousekeepers on cruise ships make around $40 a day working 12-hour days on average. They get zero days off for the duration of their contract of 6, 8 or 10 months. That’s right, zero days off, 12 hour days, and no visits from family or friends. You think your 10-hour a day job is hard?  Please, reconsider and think again.

What’s even more impressive than working for only $40 a day is the service staff’s positive attitude. For 12 days and 12 nights, never was I greeted in a less-than-happy manner. Whether I was asking for directions to the theater or requesting the New York Times in the morning, the service staff were always eager to serve.

The entire service staff was from either Indonesia or the Philippines. Hence, $40 a day might be equivalent to $200 a day back in America or Europe based on purchasing power parity.  Furthermore, after working for 300 days straight with not one weekend off, one could theoretically accumulate $12,000 US dollars + a bonus, equaling roughly $50-60,000 dollars of buying power back home.  Not bad at all!

The service staff I spoke to said that they send roughly 80% of their pay back to their families. Their expenses are little because they all get free room (two to a room) and board. A couple of them had the option of doing 6 month contracts, but insisted on 10 month contracts as they wanted to work more and make more. They wanted to take full advantage of their opportunity.

I asked whether it was easy or hard to get a job on the cruise ship, and they said, “not hard.” You just have to apply, and go through the training. “Always be positive”, they told me. Sounds pretty straightforward to me.

DON’T BE AFRAID

During one of our last buffet luncheons, our waitress from a different restaurant came by to say hello. I learned she was on a 10-month contract and wasn’t heading back from another 7 months. Her service was excellent and she asked if I was on online – if only she knew how much. We exchanged details, and at the end, she asked whether I could fill out the cruise-end survey. “Of course I will,” I told her.

What takes me 5 minutes could help make someone more money and achieve a promotion. In the survey I wrote, “Angely Siregar is excellent. She was attentive to our needs at Tamarind Restaurant where we dined for dinner and has a very positive attitude. Please take good care of her and consider her for any promotions.” I knew her full name because she took the time to say hello.

The Cruise Director started off as a drummer, while the Tamarind Restaurant manager started off as a bus boy. Through positive feedback from clients, management recognized them. Sometimes, you will be so good that clients will recognize you independently. But, often times, clients won’t know your name or provide specific details. Sometimes, they won’t even bother filling out the survey.

Just because Angely had the wherewithal to strike up a conversation and ask, she got my vote and then some. Everything is relative, and if there aren’t laudatory comments on her co-worker’s forms, she’s moving ahead.

THE WORK PLACE IS THE SAME

Nobody likes to play office politics, but I firmly believe it is a must. My mantra is that you must sell yourself internally as much as you sell yourself externally to clients. When it comes time for pay raises, promotions, and layoffs, who are you going to take care of if you are in your manager’s shoes: 1) The loyal employee who makes you look good and is always participating in team-building events, or 2) The loyal employee who is largely invisible at all company functions?

Managers won’t tell you this, but when it comes to firing people, they have a list and circle the people they don’t know well. They could be excellent performers, but if the manager doesn’t know the name of your husband, children, wife, etc… or has never seen you participate in a charity event the firm is hosting, you will undoubtedly be the first person to go, even if you are a slightly better performer. People take care of their friends, and when their friends become family, they certainly never let their family down.

CONCLUSION

Never be afraid of asking what you want when you feel 100% certain it is what you deserve. People want to reward people for a job well done and all you have to do is communicate your proof. You can’t expect your manager or clients to remember every single detail about what you’ve done. It’s up to you to highlight your achievements during mid-year, or year-end, and fight for yourself in a tasteful way.

You know that after building up all that goodwill throughout the year, you need to cash in. People don’t not promote or pay you because they are nasty. They don’t recognize you because they’ve either forgotten, or they’re busy worrying about their own situation! Help your managers remember, and at the same time, help others who’ve provided you with excellence service by filling out them forms.

What stops you for asking what you want if you truly feel you deserve it?

Regards,

Sam

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Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think what stops most people is the fear of rejection. It’s the same reason some people have trouble finding a girlfriend or boyfriend, or why some people pay full price for cars and other items that can be haggled down.

    Another thing that may be stopping people, and something I have witnessed is lack of self esteem. They can tell family and close friends what they want and how good they are but when it comes to voicing those opinions and concerns to the people who can do something about it, they lack the confidence to do so.

  2. Money Beagle says

    I have never been a butt kisser, and those who are obvious about it get on my nerves and I simply won’t go that far down the line to be a pure brown-noser. I do agree 100% though, that you have to ‘play the game’ every now and then. I do a good job with my work but every now and then I’ll write on my daily to-do list a single line: Schmooze. This means I just go and talk to someone, usually a manager or director. It gets me some face time, lets me drop some personal information to keep me ‘real’, express interest in them, and I’ve gotten a few side projects and such just by asking ‘Hey, is there anything I can help you out with?’

    • says

      I am with you on that. I am a straight shooter. I don’t deal well with schmoozing in order to go higher. However, often this works to my advantage. It doesn’t mean I care LESS about people, it means I don’t BS them. I am not just interested in getting to know people in order to get more money…but often forging relationships does benefit other aspects of life as well.

    • says

      Nobody likes a butt kisser… it’s way too obvious. There is an art to schoozing that takes great skill. The BEST schoomzing is really making someone else look good. It’s sort of the Yakezie way, to help others thrive, and perhaps they will bring you along with them.

      Good reminder you got!

  3. says

    Great post sam – I was once told that the quiet dog doesnt get fed – meaning you’ve got to speak up for something that you know you want, or how else will anyone know that’s what you want?
    Most people will happily help you out – but they surely wont help you out if they dont know what you want!

  4. says

    good post. i used to have similar discussions with colleagues, and the common struggle at the time was how does one communicate it.

    the most prudent approach seemed to be email/written because it enables one to detail out a case demonstrating proof, market rates, etc. it is good practice to conclude the email by indicating that you’d like to speak to your manager about the email after he/she has had time to go over and mention that you will follow back in a week to set up a time.

  5. says

    Confidence, not arrogance.
    Self-assured, but not smug.
    Positive attitude but not a clown.
    Team player, but not a butt kisser.

    There is a fine line between tooting your own horn and being a braggart, but I agree, if you can’t toot with confidence, why should anyone notice your horn playing?

      • JR says

        Exactly my thinking here. Along this line, I usually have the general thought that ” actions speak louder”; I think there is a distinct difference between, “Look at me! I’ve done all this stuff!” as opposed to maybe some subtle reminder that “I was the one responsible for these occurrences.”

        In my office, most of us recall who had a hand in what to what extent. Of course there is one or two who think s/he is better (falsely); but that superfluous veneer is so obvious we just smile and nod. We let the boss call BS. Seems so much more effective.

  6. David M says

    Great Post Sam!!!

    Happy to hear you took the time to Angely Siregar. This post has a great wisdom included in it – a small amount of time and/or effort can really help yourself and more importantly others!

    David

  7. says

    Yeap, I agree 100%. I like to maintain a good friendly relationship with coworkers and managers in general. If you are a weird unlikable dude, you’ll be the first to go even if you perform better. It’s all about personal relationships.

  8. says

    Your post caused me to recall any past layoffs that we’ve had at our company – and you’re right, it’s been the folks who are more “under the radar”. They weren’t necessarily bad workers, but just didn’t really “participate” and make themselves known.

    I don’t think it takes much to be more active. Even if you are more reserved – being present and a participant vs just “showing up” is really key today.

    • says

      Hi Aaron, first of all, I love your gravatar! Second, yeah, folks just punching the clock who develop no rapport are the first to go, b/c firing people creates a guilty feeling. Easy to fire those you don’t know!

  9. says

    I forget where I heard it, but I once heard that a key to a successful career is making your manager look good. The more I think about it the more I think that’s it’s genius advice (up until the CXX level, I suppose… then impress the shareholders? The board?)!

    Nice to hear that you gave a good review to Ms. Siregar. I like to think that when I leave good reviews it helps the people I’m reviewing – I figure managers usually only hear complaints so compliments shine through.

  10. says

    The key to success is being likeable and indispensable. This is true in this economy more than any other time. No one likes complainers because they do nothing to solve the problems. The doers of the world are indispensable and should ask for what they deserve.

  11. Simple Rich Living says

    Great tips! I do agree that the key to success to make your boss(es) look good. What if you don’t like your boss(es) or don’t believe in their way of thinking or do business?

  12. says

    I was very impressed with the quality of service and attention to detail by the staff on our cruise to the Caribbean. Perhaps it is because the people there see working on the cruise ship as a great opportunity, and they don’t feel entitled at all. They win, and the consumer wins, too!

  13. says

    Very good of you to recommend the young lady. Schmoozing with customers — internal and external — makes you stand out and generates good will. Belly-bumping has its place, but is not nearly as productive as at least *trying* to work with people.

  14. says

    The staff on cruise ships is absolutely awesome isn’t it? When we went to the Caribbean, we had an excellent attendant from Trinidad & Tobago. We engaged him in conversation often and learned a lot about his personal circumstances. Before leaving on the trip we had went shopping at the discount stores in Florida and bought some runners. He like the pair of shoes my little brother had bought so much he took a picture of them. At the end of the trip my bro decided to give him the shoes (they were the same size). The guy actually started crying at the gesture. My brother didn’t think it was a big deal because he had got the shoes on sale for $30 or so, but they meant so much to the guy. I’ve never been prouder of him!

  15. says

    Great post, Sam!

    I have worked in the service industry for a long time and you don’t know the difference it makes to someone when you mention them by name on a comment card. At one of the properties I worked at we even used to give anyone cash who was mentioned by name on comment cards. Relationships make all the difference in the service industry and comment cards are used as a tool to encourage employees to create these relationships.

    It took a lot of courage for Angely Siregar to ask, though, especially since english is probably not her first language, Bravo!

  16. Krogdor says

    Hi Sam. Long time reader, first time commenter. I think this link promptly sums up my feelings as well as the feelings of my generation on this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHm7-Z4spHw&feature=player_embedded

    Yup, I’m one of those ‘weird, unlikable dudes’, like Steven in the above link. I’m not interested in having to put up with the insanity of all the real world Michael Scotts in order to get ahead.

    I don’t care about what the local sports team did over the weekend or what someone’s kids are doing. It’s not that I want to be unpleasant to people, but I have interests that exist outside of the work space and just want to get my tasks finished. I’m not looking for a second family. I already have one that gives me plenty of joy and also plenty of problems. I don’t want my coworkers adding to the problems my family and friends already lay on my shoulders.

    I know you have to be willing to being a team player, but doesn’t there ever come a point where concerns like mine are justified?

  17. says

    Fear of starting and being to much of a perfectionist.

    I dont know what it is for me but I always have trouble getting into new things, I spend way to much to going over things before I finally do. What it comes down to for me is that initial fear and then trying to make things to perfect when I start.

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