I remember a lady from a job long ago who I absolutely loved working with – if she said she was going to do something, it always happened. If anyone asked her to do something, she was always receptive and positive and glad to do her job. I decided early on that I had great respect for her, and I’ve held it all this while. She was a great example to me that I’ve gladly followed. But we all know people who have the opposite effect –– “lead by example” has always been something I’ve believed in; you can lead the people around you either in a positive way, or negatively. Kind of like that one fruit in your fridge crisper drawer that was there just a little too long and turned into something you didn’t recognize. You take it out, throw it away and carefully check everything that was near it. What you find, a lot of times, is that that one bad fruit has had an effect on everything in the drawer. People can be a lot like that with their attitudes. I write about customer service and the importance of excellence and professionalism when dealing with customers. But what about our co-workers and generally every person we come into contact with on a daily basis? Should we not be just as willing to have the same positive, helpful, service-oriented attitude when dealing with them? One of my pet peeves is “entitlement,” and especially so in a workplace. I’ve always approached my employment with the attitude that every day is a job interview –– it’s my duty and obligation to prove to my employer that I should be allowed to come back the next day and keep working. There are a lot of people out there waiting in line to take my job as soon as I start acting like it isn’t important to me; I want to make sure my boss keeps feeling like he’d choose me all over again –– and not choose one of those other people. The best way to continue to be the person your boss would hire all over again is to remember why you were hired and why you’re at work. I could list a dozen things that you should and shouldn’t do in the workplace, but the foundation really remains: always, always do your best. Look for ways to be a leader. Seek out ways to improve yourself. Continue to earn your right to be there. Try out this measuring stick –– if you were your boss, would you hire you again? If you were your co-workers, would you encourage your boss to choose you again? In other words, always be fresh fruit spritzed with lemon, and you’ll be welcome to hang out in the fruit drawer.