When Performing To Standard Isn’t Good Enough

Average used to be acceptable. Society understood that some people would exceed all expectations and shine brightly while a few others would scrape the bottom of the barrel, but most were “good enough,” and that’s okay. 

We’re talking about the C students and those who just want to do the job they’re paid to do and come home. 

It’s no longer acceptable. 

You Must Exceed All Expectations

Nowadays, you’re a failure if you’re not a five-star employee who exceeds in everything. 

We see it everywhere, from online reviews to work performance. Uber drivers and Airbnb hosts beg for 5-star reviews because anything less could cost them their livelihood. An “average” rating in an online forum is as good as a death sentence. 

Employees get berated for meeting standards. People who do their jobs without going above and beyond face ridicule, both from their bosses and the public, when they share their stories

“You can’t expect a raise for doing the bare minimum,” people will say. 

The Average Employees Do Deserve Raises

Saying you must do better than expected at your job to deserve a raise only benefits corporations.  They can get away with paying people less by raising the standard for a raise so high that only a select few can achieve it. 

They also get to ignore that inflation drives up the cost of labor, even for mediocre employees. With the rising cost of everything, even employees who simply do their jobs as expected and come home deserve higher pay

Most People Are Average

Let’s face it: most people are average. They can do a few things exceptionally well but also get lazy now and again. They phone it some days but work hard on others. 

But they do the job they’re hired to do. 

When did that become a problem?

Why did our society shift to say doing precisely what’s expected is somehow not good enough? Why did we collectively decide that everyone must go above and beyond, and if they don’t, they’re in the wrong?

Let People Be Average

We need to reject this new normal that everyone must be exceptional and that those who aren’t exceptional don’t deserve to thrive. 

 Let’s bring back 3-star ratings that show the service was as expected and limit the 5-star ratings to only the most outstanding service imaginable. Let’s celebrate the “meets standards” performance review because that indicates you did the job you were hired to do. 

Of course, this won’t happen anytime soon. Our obsession with exceptionalism forces people to lie to survive. Nowadays, “exceptional” may actually mean average because calling it anything less means risking someone’s livelihood. 

It’s time we all went back to celebrating the truly average because, let’s face it, that’s where most of us fall.