Excuses dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coachRecently my wife encountered a remarkable young woman named Nikki who was working at the Dollar General Store in Grapevine, TX. She noticed that this lady seemed very happy, so she said to her, “You seem so happy. Do you like your job?”  The young lady said, “My Mom taught me to be thankful for my job. She said I should never complain about it, and it I did not make enough money there to make ends meet, I should work two jobs. So I don’t complain. I love my work and I work two jobs. She also said she never wanted to see me on welfare or food stamps, and I have never had to do that either.”

My wife was marveling at her attitude and the impact her Mom had had on her life. Isn’t it amazing how powerful the words of her Mother were to her? My wife told Nikki before she left the store, “Thanks for making my day. I appreciate your attitude.” Nikki thanked her for coming in and that was the end of it (or so Nikki thought).  I told my wife that she needed to write the company and let them know what a great employee Nikki is, so she is in the process of doing that. Most people just complain when things go wrong, but I think we need to recognize people who are doing a great job, don’t you? At the end of the day, we all want to know that what we do for a living matters.

One thing I know for sure: if someone does not want to do something, they will find an excuse, and any old excuse will do. Here are just a few you might hear, or you might have used yourself:

  • I am too young or too old.
  • I don’t have enough education, or I am over-educated.
  • I am single, or I am married.
  • I am too tired or too hyper.
  • I don’t have the time or I don’t have enough to do.
  • I am not smart enough or I am too smart to do this.
  • I don’t know the right people.
  • I can’t help the way I am.
  • I am a single parent.

These excuses are valid if whoever says it believes it to be true (at least it is valid in THEIR mind). In truth, if someone really wants to do something bad enough, they will find a way to do it.

I hope Dollar General recognizes what a valuable employee they have in Nikki. In this day where poor customer service is the norm in many businesses, we need to celebrate the Nikki’s of the world and take a lesson from her positive can-do attitude.


Dan Skognes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *