But not so in 2010. The unemployment situation being what it is, there are just not that many jobs. And those that exist, are offered at salaries below what used to be appropriate--and therefore below what you’re earning now, possibly even with that pay cut you took in 2009. The benefits are lower everywhere, the perks harder to find. And if you do risk temp-to-perm, you may go benefit-less for longer than you ever suspected.
Raise your hand if you’re ready to punch the next person who says “Be glad you have a job!” As much compassion as I’m sure we all feel for the unemployed, we can’t be expected to be happy about what’s happening to the employed. Suddenly it seems that employers have license to take as much advantage of workers as they want, since after all, we should all just be glad we have jobs.
What we see is an economy that really seems to be recovering. We see the companies we work for reporting sales comparable to and even above what they achieved in the boom days. We see economic indicators improving. And all we ask is if we could all be reset to the way it was before things took a dive...we don’t even expect to get back the raises and bonuses and cost-of-living adjustments we missed out on.
Unfortunately, by not doing that, employers can pad their bottom lines even more. (And dare I say, increase certain key salaries.) It’s looking like ethics and genuine human compassion are not motivational enough to many businesses, so they take advantage of the situation because they can.
Those who know me know I am totally a proponent of free-market capitalism. And those not so enamored of capitalism will tell me, “See, here’s what happens in this system you love so much! Bwahaha!” Yeah, I get that what’s going on is partly inherent in capitalism.
But you know what? There’s another principle that occurs in free-market capitalism: You get what you pay for. And if what I hear on the street is any indication, the employees’ response to
“Be glad you have a job”
“Okay, I’m only going to work hard enough to keep from being fired.”
What businesses get in return for their attitude is bad morale, which leads to lower productivity, mistakes, and eventually, a failing business.
So that’s my little manifesto, Blog...wow, I felt like Che Guevara or something for a minute there! I want to close on a more positive note: To those employers who treated your employees well during this time when you could have gotten away with less (and you know who you are), thank you! Here’s to your huge success in 2011! And please send me your names, I have a lot of friends looking for new jobs. :-)