If you ask anyone “Hey do you know Jason?” If they've met him, the answer will always be “Jason? Yea I know him, that's my boy!” Even me, I love that little guy. No literally, he is a little guy. It delights me to no end to point it out. He claims he is 5’ 5” but there is no way that’s possible. He’s like 5’ 2” tops, but anyways, his height isn’t why I’m writing this post. If it was, I’d make it short and sweet, same as him... Ok I’ll stop the short jokes, I had to get them in though. I’ll be showing Jason this post as soon as I’m done, and I don’t want his head to get too big. Mainly because it wouldn’t match his tiny little body. OK OK, no really I am done… probably.
The real reason I wanted to write this article, is just because we all love Jason, and I want to try to analyze why we do. A few weeks ago, Jason was approached by another company. They offered him double his current hourly wage. So maybe we should all try to learn a little from Jason. Hopefully it will help us as well.
So why exactly is it I think we all love Jason so damned much? For starters, as Jason reads this, I know it is cracking him up. He’s probably saying something along the lines of “Yoooooo, you better stop calling me short” with a big smile on his face. I have known Jason for years, and it seems nothing ever gets under his skin. If it’s funny Jason laughs, but there is way more to it than that.
Let’s change course momentarily. There is another guy who works with us, and I’m going to say some rather disparaging things about him, so I’m not going to mention his name. Regardless of the things I’m going to say, I want to make it clear that I don’t dislike this person. He’s actually a pretty good guy and can even be pretty funny at times. He just comes with a lot of traits that make me not want to be around him very much. In small doses, he can be great, but in bulk it’s a nightmare. This guy is basically the anti-Jason, so let’s call him Nosaj.
So to analyze Jason, first let’s look at Nosaj. Why is it that hardly anyone likes him? First off he complains, constantly. This is doubly true when people think his complaints are unfounded, as they so often are. Nosaj tells people how much he makes, which is significantly more than his average coworkers. Then he complains about how he doesn’t make enough. No one wants to be part of your pity party when it also feels kinda like you’re bragging.
When you speak to Nosaj, you get the feeling he is waiting for you to finish talking, so he can say his thing he wants to talk about. He is loud, and often will cut you off or talk over you. When he does deign to let you finish your sentence, he generally starts in with a completely unrelated topic. It leaves you feeling as if he hasn’t listened to a word you said. This usually makes you a little insecure, and you feel like you’ve bored him.
Lastly, Nosaj is overconfident, and overly critical of others. Let’s be honest, who wants to deal with a person who can’t admit to their own mistakes, but loves pointing out everyone else’s problems? Not me. Writing down all these negative thoughts about someone is making me feel pretty slimy, so I’m going to end it here.
So what makes Jason so special? Jason smiles. Always. If you give him a difficult task, he will smile and just get to it. He doesn’t argue or ask why it’s him that has to do it. He just smiles. He doesn’t complain, because what will that gain him?
When you speak to Jason, he stops and he listens to you. When you finish, he asks you questions that pertain to what you were saying. He engages you, and gets you to tell him more about what you already wanted to talk about.
Jason’s also pretty quiet, and often you have to coax things out of him. This, in turn, makes you genuinely curious to hear what he has to say.
Lastly he’s a humble guy. When he doesn’t understand something, he asks for clarification. When you tell him how or why, he listens, and tries to learn.
Smiling isn’t always an easy thing to do. It seems to me though, that the things most worth doing in life, are often the hardest. If smiling was an easy thing, Nosaj would be doing it. Sometimes, things just aren’t going well, and those are the times you have to smile most. But why is that?
When you think of getting that big promotion, you probably think of working hard, and finally proving to everyone that you can do it. The sad reality is though, that working hard, and proving yourself worthy is only a small part of it. It may sound harsh, but it’s also a popularity contest. The job is going to go to the person they like the most. Plain and simple. As long as that person is vaguely qualified enough for the position, they’re going to get it. In some extreme cases, the person may not even be qualified at all.
Be honest with yourself, who would you hire if Jason and Nosaj were applying for a job with you? You would hire Jason right? Well if this was a perfect world, you would have said to me, but Chance, I don’t know about any of their skills. I find it highly unlikely that you even stopped to consider their skills at all, and well, that’s just kinda how the world works. You just knew that Nosaj never smiles, and he’s a real pain to be around.
This is what we need to learn from Jason. Learn to smile, learn to listen, and try your best to look on the bright side. The more you do these things, the easier it becomes. When things get tough, just remember, Jason is always looking up, and that’s because Jason is just so much shorter than everyone else that he doesn’t have a choice.
Oh and smile too, it helps.