Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

That's not my job.

“That’s not my job.”

4 words that lose credibility for yourself, your coworkers and your company. That’s not my job is used as a hammer. It attempts to end the conversation. It announces to the listener that continuing this conversation is beneath my station – that I am not going to continue down this road with you. I will not explain further, I will not help – that’s not my job.

Worse, it doesn’t simply end the conversation. That’s not my job rarely cuts off communication, rather it inflames. It lives on in the listener’s mind and creates lasting memories of negativity. It is easily repeatable and spreads like wildfire between friends, colleagues and on social media. It infects everyone who hears it with a feeling of being wronged.

There is always something we can do to help, to refer, to empathize or to apologize because in the end, everything is our job.

Timing matters

My 2017 Must Read List