The menial tasks are appreciated

Years ago at a previous job, I once had my manager say to me, “Ray, I have a job that really, really sucks, but someone has to do it, and it needs to get done. You game?”

Without getting too deeply into it (mainly because it’s sufficiently long enough ago that I don’t remember the details, anyway), the task was to clean up a conference room after we’d used it for a celebration. (I don’t remember what it was for, but I do remember that there was food involved.) I told him, “I got it. Don’t worry about it.”

So I went ahead and cleaned up the mess we’d left behind in the conference room. I didn’t fuss, and I didn’t complain. It had to be done, and someone had to take care of it. Not the greatest of tasks, but I can tell you that my coworkers appreciated my effort.

I was reminded of that recently, when I had to work on a task that involved a lot of tedious work. My coworker who assigned me the task understands just how much effort and tedium is involved. She gave me a thank-you and told me something like, “I know how crappy this is. I appreciate you taking care of it.”

The point here is that menial tasks are not sexy, glamorous, or exciting. You might not like them. But people appreciate you a lot more when you can get them done. This reflects well on you, and ultimately can even benefit you. You’re viewed positively as someone who takes care of little things without complaint (although, admittedly, I do crack some jokes about it — e.g. “what year is this? Is it still 2022?” and so on).

Menial tasks don’t necessarily add anything to your resume, but they do add style points to your personality. People will appreciate you for the extra effort. And that’s never a bad thing.

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