RE: Respect (was Motivation For Overtime?)

Subject: RE: Respect (was Motivation For Overtime?)
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 21:45:02 +0100

Tony Markatos asks:
> what is respect? Free beer and pizza? Flex hours?
>The latest PC computer to do my work on? A caring parental figure boss?
>Stock options?

This is beginning to turn into a Platonic dialogue. Respect is *respect*: no
counterfeit will fool a bright employee for long.

Ideally, my employer will respect my work (I don't want to hear comments
like "No one ever reads the documentation anyway - what does it matter?"
from a senior manager): my employer will respect me as a worker (I don't
like working for a company that assumes that if you're not at your desk from
9 to 5 with exactly one hour for lunch between 12:30 and 1:30, you're not
working), and my employer will respect me as a human being (which may be a
lot to ask! but even technical writers are human :-).

If my employer respects me, the results may be that my employer will supply
free cider and pizza if I have to work late, flex hours to suit my needs,
the latest PC and software that my work requires, stock options, and a good
manager. But it's perfectly possible for a company to supply all these
things, including a manager who sincerely believes (as all managers do
these days!) that s/he's a caring parental figure, but still evidence
profound disrespect for the employees. I know, because that describes my
former place of employment to a T. (Except the flex hours: if you weren't at
your desk, etc, you weren't working.)

The problem is that I think a fair few companies believe that their
employees want the perks, not the underlying respect - and that in itself is
indicative of a lack of respect. (Or else they supply the perks, believing
that the *perks* are respect, and that's just not logical, Captain.)

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

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