Re: Like long hours?

Subject: Re: Like long hours?
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 23:45:59 -0700 (PDT)

--- Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com> wrote:
> 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.

Inequality goes both ways.

When an employer is unsatisfied with an employee, they must maintain meticulous
documentation, make extended efforts to help correct underperforming employees,
and graciously assist the recently terminated in transitioning into a new job.
Now, not all employers do this - but this is the expectation.

When an employee is unsatisfied with their employer, they slack off, screw
around, steal office supplies, bad mouth the employer, and quit without notice.
And if the employer fires them first, they get a scumbag lawyer and sue the
company, resulting in even more costs for the employer. Now, not all employees do
this - but it is certainly condoned and encouraged in some circles.

So let me see if I understand this: its okay for employees to bad mouth their
employers and screw around at work - but if an employer has the gall to ask you
to work overtime, they need to be "reeducated" to understand the situation
better. Uh huh.

I think people want to see their employment as being unequal because this is
easier to comprehend and can be used to garner sympathy. Advisarial relationships
are extremely simplistic and melodramatic. There is "them" and "us" and nothing
in between. A person is a lot more likely to get sympathy telling others about
how the boss is tormenting them than fess up that the reason your boss is
tormenting them is because that person consistently is unable to meet

"The Man is out to get me." is a lot easier to understand and handle than "they
have something I want, and I have something they want, how can we trade this such
that both parties are happy."

Therefore, I think a lot of folks ALLOW their employer to run (ruin) their lives.
When an individual accepts that he/she has power to control his/her environment
and make choices that can better him/herself, he/she can begin to take full
control over his/her destiny. In a sense, this strips the power away from anybody
around the individual.

I am not a number, I am free man!

> > 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.

I think this is a very narrow view. If you see yourself as "merely having a job"
then you will be treated as "merely an employee." Sure, abuses take place - on
both sides. Employees abuse employers, and vice versa. But I strongly believe
that the employment relationship is as much a factor of the employee's attitudes
as it is the employers.

> 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.

Not necessarily. Management has a lot more at stake. A CEO cannot easily go out
and just get another CEO job. Once you attain a position with such authority
there is massive responsibility. And failure is much more obvious. Do you think
anybody will hire Kenneth Lay (former CEO of Enron) to run their company? He
clearly was a crook and now his career is essentially over. Management also can
be imprisoned if they mislead investors/employees. Whereas how many employees are
sent to prison for lying on a resume?

Andrew Plato

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Re: Like long hours?: From: Bruce Byfield

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