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: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 10:46:51 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:

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.

In other words, employers are pressured to be fair. But there's no "must" about it, since, as you say,not all employers act this way.

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.

Yes, there are dishonest and unscrupulous employees, but the fact is irrelevant to the general power relationship. A dishonest employee can inconvenience an employer, yes. But an unscrupulous employer can destroy an employee's life. And those employees who are honest and scrupulous don't have many ways of dealing with an employer who doesn't have those values.

But in passing, I should add that there's nothing wrong with bad mouthing an employer. Surely you're not going to claim that employers never bad mouth employees?

As for quitting without notice, if you do that in Canada, you don't have a right to severence pay, and have to wait longer to collect (un)employment insurance. But you can do so.

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.

This discussion will go much more smoothly if you address what I actually said, instead of misrepresenting it.

My position is really this:

1.) Both employees and employers have the right to bad mouth each other. It's called freedom of speech.

2.) An employee who doesn't focus on work is dishonest.

3.) An employer can reasonably ask for overtime in special circumstances, such as a project deadline.However, if an employer operates on the assumption that employees should regularly put in over time without compensation, then generally the employer is exploiting employees, is seriously understaffed, or needs to reorganize - often all three. Just as importantly, the employer is acting against his or her best interests, because too much over-time tends to reduce productivity and imagination, and to sour relations with employees.

"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."

This is where the relation is unequal. An employee has no choice except to trade labor for the money to live. But an employer has the power of deciding who gets that money.As a result, employees often feel the need to kowtow to the employer - either because the employer actually expects it, or because they are nervous about keeping that money coming in.

Decent employers do try to balance their needs against those of employees.But they can't do that by pretending that their interests and employees' interests overlap completely. Nor can they simply ignore the inequality and pretend it's not there; they'll either be perceived as insincere or else become ineffectual because they are ignoring their own needs (I speak from experience here).

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.

This sounds good, but it ignores the fact that people need a job. In good times, people can walk away from a bad situation - but, even in good times, many people don't have the courage to do so. In bad times, even those with courage may think twice.

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."

I agree.Moreover, I think that the view encourages mediocrity.But,unless I'm mistaken, that's the way that most people view their employment.

Not necessarily. Management has a lot more at stake.

To risk not being able to feed your family or having the bank foreclose on you is to have about as much at stake as it's possible to have.

Very few employees have golden parachutes to solace them during unemployment, either.

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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