Friday, 6 October 2017

The Betrayal of Service

Selfies, Self Service, Self Promotion, Self Absorbed and Selfish?..

2 years ago I wrote a passionate article about motivation and I suggested that what motivates you to succeed really matters. More than matters, your core reason for striving has a direct impact on whether you achieve your life goals. I also suggested that the acquisition of wealth or the chasing of fame or celebrity status were false motivators not just because they show a shallow personality but also because they are not strong enough motivating forces. When you look at the fickle nature of fame and the way that Hollywood raises actors up as the next big thing only to shove them over the cliff the second their fame ceases to be a box office draw, it easy to see why anyone who seeks after such things is truly foolish. Now this may seem as incredibly judgemental statement to make and you could be forgiven for thinking that I should just mind my opinion and button my yap. Except, that I really truly love the film industry and more importantly the people that work within it. Those who battle against the odds to see their project on the big screen, those who fight daily with mental illness or crippling self doubt are the very shining lights that WhiteScreen's tagline, no, it's mission statement was created for. So, I will not be silent anymore and I need to make a few observations which have been bothering me for sometime.

I think there is something very wrong with our society and it becomes very apparent the minute you visit another country. Put simply, we have become terrible at customer service. It is very rare that I experience the level of customer service that puts a smile on my face. You know the sort of thing I mean, when you go into a coffee shop or retail outlet and are made to feel that your satisfaction is all that matters. For the short time you are being served you are the most important person in the world and there is nothing that will prevent the customer service member of staff from delivering for you. We just don't care about quality anymore and we are so concerned about our own lives and serving ourselves that customer service has been almost destroyed. All to often, we are made to feel like an inconvenience and that our needs don't matter at all. This has led to the rise of our self service culture with the primary motivation being our own needs being delivered to at all costs. Monsters like Max Clifford and other such personalities have mutated the service industry into something that mocks its very purpose. They seek only to promote themselves and to use the cloak of PR and Marketing as a thinly veiled ego massage. Social Media has made the problem worse as self promotion is now accepted as the only way for creatives of varying abilities to find work with little or no thought for others or for quality. In the service industry, MOTIVATION MATTERS and yet there are so many examples of people setting up quasi businesses with a desire to see their own star rising.

This is a futile path to follow as all that happens is people get hurt, people get broken and careers and dreams are put to the slaughter. I have been asked on more than one occasion to represent people who feel I really understand what they need, that I ask questions about where they want their career to go. I always turn these requests down, not because I don't care but because I wouldn't be able to find them work. I lack the network of casting opportunities and contacts to be able to support their careers. An agents fee is a substantial one and I have no doubt turned down opportunities to earn sizable returns from others hard work. But since the only opportunities I would be able to provide would be ones that they themselves can source free of charge I will not take advantage. I mention this not because I seek any sort of praise but because I believe this is how it should be. Do you praise a child for doing what is expected of them? Do you look for thanks because you didn't shove someone under a bus today? Of course you don't, but when you turn your back on self service at all costs you stand out from the crowd. Truly motivated service is a hard to find quality and when you come across it hold onto it! When you undertake any service driven task and do so purely to self promote you betray, at the deepest level, those that you are pretending to support.

If you are looking to boost your self worth and develop your own career by pretending to care about others then you denigrated yourself to such a low standard its embarrassing. Don't think for a second people don't notice either and whilst those who populate your fan base cheer your every announcement those people who have not been dazzled by your light see through the charade. Because true service is sacrificial and it hurts, it costs more than just money it takes every fibre of your being to keep going. True service will not get you noticed, when was the last time you saw a famous shop assistant or a coffee shop barista in the headlines? If your passion is to see others fly then you have chosen one of the most fulfilling and exciting professions to be part of. I tell you, there is nothing like the emotional high of supporting someone in achieving their aspirations. Many is the time that I have broken down in tears because of the smile on someones face when they reach their goal. But don't do it for recognition, don't do it to make yourself famous, do it because serving others is the highest calling and not everyone can do it! Serve because you care about others and because self sacrifice desperately needs a resurgence. Motivation matters more than self!

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