Thursday, July 9, 2009

55 hours is the new 40 hours..and this doesn't include commute!

I remember working for this great company years ago as a Contract Quality Consultant. Anyway, they had employed a young accountant who couldn’t make it into work until 9:30AM and always left at 3:30PM. As far as he was concern, the company didn’t factor in his hr plus, one-way, commute. Huh?!?! Obviously, this was before the present day “depression.” He was a by-product of MTV, DVD’s and CD’s. Clueless to records, cassettes, and phone booths. Incidentally, he got fired and still couldn't understand why. Well, I thought that maybe this was just a naive young guy…wrong! Later on, chit-chatting with my younger cousin, he informed me of how he got his wife to quit her job because since it took her an hour to get to work, he believed her work hours started when she left the house and returned home. Huh?!?!. Not the time she arrived at work. My answer...nothing; I figured…maybe I’m just old.

Word to-the-wise, start time does not factor in commute too and from work.

Another thing, when you are getting paid a salary, you are basically at the mercy of the company. Meaning, if you have to be at work at 6AM and work until 10PM, they have that power. You could be at work from 6AM and be scheduled to jump on a plane by 7PM that evening to represent the company. Your check-in at the Marriott can be around 11PM, and still have to be at the customer by 8AM the next morning. I remember having to fly to Asia on a Saturday morning, get there around "late o'clock" on Sunday, and still arrive in the factory by 7AM the next morning....Asia time (talk about walking around like a zombie around 2PM because of the time difference)??? There is no overtime pay, extra day off, fireworks, cake and candles, parade, pat-on-the-back...that's what you do. So, for all the newbies coming out of college...welcome to the corporate world. Enjoy you time in school. Cos like-it, lump-it…this is what it is.

School Bullies morph into Corporate Bullies.

The corporate terminology is “office politics.” But it’s the same thing except, a) they are not becoming physically violent, and b) they will not engage in loud quarrelsome behavior(s). It’s just an intellectual method of dominating over another; but doing this in a professional, discreet, way. The goal is to bring a person or department down. Basically, embarrass them. Sometimes there are “behind-the-scenes” discussions, and planned methodologies to question you in front of a large forum. Obviously the goal is to embarrass you in front of many individuals (usually with higher ranking executives present), with intellectual questions, prepped in advance, knowing that you won’t know the answers.
Sadly, I’ve witnessed this on too many encounters. It’s truly sad and cruel to see a group of adults convene to embarrass another person or department. What’s even worse, these same bullies talk about going to church every Sunday with their families!
So, if you think the bullying stops after High School, think again.

Laid-off with no notice!

I came in at 7:15AM, got a call from my boss at 7:20, by 8 AM I was revving the engine in my car. Great, just great and guess what…I didn’t see it coming. Neither do the 9.4% of millions of unemployed Americans. What bothers me is that you can give your blood, sweat and tears to a company, be multi-tasked to the maximum and when they are ready to let you go…no notice. NO two week or month notice. But, on the other hand, if I were to hand-in my notice, this would mean a negative reference if I gave less than two weeks notice! How’s that? And how do they decide who to let go especially when so many are still walking around not doing anything for months. Even to this day they are still employed. My guess, it’s who is “chummy-chummy” with the management. Some of it may be due to how “valuable” your work is, but in my case (especially when I know guys who walked around and spent most of their hours talking), how am I validated in being dumped-out into the parking lot!
I think it is just professional corporate courtesy to inform your employees with at least some advance notice (weeks or months) regarding lay-offs. Have some form of consideration considering that these same companies want "you" to be considerate when handing in "your" notice.