Re: Like long hours?

Subject: Re: Like long hours?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2002 09:26:50 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:

The perception that needs to be changed is the adversarial one. This isn't a war
between the saintly workers and evil management. The perception that needs to
emerge is one of forming alliances and mutual interest covenants between supply
(labor) and demand (employers). If you and your employer are on the same page,
working toward the same ends, then you can both benefit.

These comments sound reasonable, except for one thing: they assume an equal amount of power in the relation. The reason that comments often sound adversarial is that individuals don't have the same power over working conditions as corporations.What you're hearing is frustration.

> This is a mutual interest covenant,

Only to a degree. Management has much more at stake than most employees - certainly most than the average tech-writer, who has very little room for upward mobility. Management may have a career, but most employees have a job. In other words, management has a vocation, something to be dedicated about,while most employees have a way to survive.

Moreover, if the average company prospers, then management prospers more than the ordinary employee. And if the company falters, then management is more likely to survive than the ordinary employee.

However, if you're comfortable living in a 1930's era view of management and
workers, then so be it. But I think you will find that most of your fears about
management will come true. If you treat your employer as an evil beast that must
accept you, then it is likely they will behave like an evil beast toward you.

Again, you're assuming an equal power relation. Management can make situations miserable much more easily than a single employee can. As an employee, you can make the best of a situation, but that's only of limited use if the corporate culture is dysfunctional.

These perceptions are the main reason that I prefer to be a contractor. I can't say that I'll never be a full-time employee again, but one of the biggest perks of contracting is that you can mostly avoid being part of the corporate structure.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"rats may be rich or rats may be clever,
but one thing of which they'll never get rid
My Dog
knows where the bones are hid."
-OysterBand, "My Dog"

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Re: Like long hours?: From: Andrew Plato

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