Every game we provide Tim Hortons coffee for our management, scouts, media, and volunteers. Now, I’m sure you are wondering who the person who picks up the coffee before each game is…
The answer: one of our VP’s.
One time I asked him why he is the one who gets the coffee – his response was that he didn’t quite know how it started but someone has to do it.
Someone has to do it. Someone needs to make photocopies, cut vouchers for the next game, count inventory, ship tickets, sort merchandise and prizes, set up a table at community events, sport the team’s mascot when a fill-in is needed. Let’s call these coffee tasks.
Interns and entry-level employees fail when they think they are above a task that is given to them. The reality is that not only are you wrong when you think that, but you also severely limit your chances of the door being re-opened for you once your internship is up. I see this happen all the time and it’s a hot topic of discussion between my colleagues or friends at other organizations. For the most part, your managers have been in your shoes before they got to where they are now. They were successful because of how well they completed their coffee tasks, which means they know when you think you are too good for coffee. They can see right through you.
Being asked to do a seemly mundane task shouldn’t be taken as an insult to your intelligence. Understand that when you are working in the fast-paced industry of sports and entertainment, everyone is working at an insane pace to try to keep up. As an intern, I always felt that if I could take a task off of my manager’s plate to allow them to do what they needed, then not only will it eventually be noticed, but it will also leave me in a position to ask for more.
Spoiler alert: this mindset made me successful in my internships and this mentality is/will continue to benefit me throughout my career.
If you can finish the “boring” tasks then more projects – the ones you want to see on your desk – will be able to be given to you. And, in a situation where your manager doesn’t start giving you these tasks, it puts you in a good position to ask.
I can guarantee you that if you can respond to the coffee tasks with a positive attitude, with grace, diligence, and speed, your managers will notice. No one is too good for coffee – but if you think that you are, rest assured, they’ll find someone who knows they’re not.
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