It’s a perspective disconnect kind of thing. The small business owner feels as if he/she is doing you this huge favor by allowing you to work for them. From their point of view they are good, decent people taking on an awesome responsibility for you and your family. Yes, you’re so lame and incompetent that you couldn’t wipe your own ass without their assistance. I guess that’s why they hired you.
I find this point of view quite odd.
These are the same people who will add to staff only when they are sufficiently convinced it will line their own pockets with coin. Otherwise they sure as fuck wouldn’t do it. They don’t bother to cross the street unless there is profit in it. Yet, there they are, in your face, telling you about how benevolent they are, how altruistic motives informed their actions, and how they’re doing it all for you.
What a crock of shit!
These same people won’t hesitate to praise the free market system. They’ll expound on how the market is driven by transactions which are voluntary on both sides, thus becoming that wonderful and proverbial “win-win.” Except, of course, when they needed an employee and you answered the call. Somehow that sort of free market transaction is different. It’s unique. It’s not two parties making a voluntary agreement. Nay, it is this huge favor they are doing for the employee.
Why is that? Why isn’t it the employee that is doing the huge favor for the boss? After all, without that employee, the boss wouldn’t be able to achieve his/her big plans to make more widgets, more sales, and revel in the glory of increase profits. And it must be a huge favor indeed, right? Because that boss was extremely picky, as always, but somehow picked you.
My last boss would get offended if we didn’t “thank” him for our paychecks. I always thought that was merely dickish behavior on his part. But now I realize what that was really about. He wanted to be thanked for the “favor” he was doing us. But you know what? Not once did he ever come around and say, “Hey, thanks for doing your job. I appreciate that.”
Once you delve into the “I’m doing you a favor” mindset it all suddenly makes sense. The boss deserves thanks for handing out a paycheck, providing for you and your family, and for the incredible gift of allowing you to work. Meanwhile anything that you do is merely doing your job. It’s the boss helping you, not the other way around. That’s why there is the expectation that appreciation is supposed to only flow one way.
My interpretation is different, and no doubt influenced by my perspective. It doesn’t help that the prism through which I view the world is also smeared with the boss’ fecal matter.
I was thinking about this today as I listened to the BBC Global News podcast. Obama had just given his jobs speech and they were interviewing a small business owner from the United States for his interpretation. He was making the typical points about owners deciding to hang on to their “capital” in times of uncertainty. He claimed that he didn’t know what his costs would be when “Obamacare” takes effect in 2014 so he’s decided to sit tight.
Sorry, I call bullshiats on that. If the profits are out there, you go and get them. You do what it takes. Right now. Today. You strike while the iron is hot. Or, I guess, you can sit and moan about something still over two years away. The point I’m making is that whatever the system and the circumstances, you either operate within it to your own benefit or you don’t. As the person in charge, it’s your choice.
Let us dispense with the illusions here, eh? The employer – employee relationship is what it is. But let us not bullshit each other and pretend it is something it is not. I know that, as the employee, I’m only here as long as my existence pencils out. I know you have absolutely zero loyalty towards me. You’ve made that quite plain. And, if all else fails, you always got that “at will employment” thing in your favor, too.
On the other hand, I have no loyalty to you, either. Unfortunately, for some God forsaken reason, you seem to get a thrill out of going exhibitionist with your unethical side. Even though you chose to include the word “ethical” in your job listing, which just so happened to be a word I already had on my resume. (And no, I didn’t customize that word into my resume just for you. It was already there, you sack of shit.) And yet you let me glimpse behind the curtain to witness your immoral world of “lie, cheat and steal” methodologies – the foundation on which your business is based. I can only assume that, for you, that is some sort of sick game.
It’s okay. For once at least there is some equality in this otherwise massively power-imbalanced relationship. I’m no more loyal to you than you are to me.
So stop thinking of yourself as some kind of super hero because you were frothin’ at the mouth to make a buck. Don’t do me any favors, k?
You need to start a business and hire people. Be an employer. Help people!
I’m serious. Start your own business. It’s not easy, I know. That’s why people don’t add people to their payroll that they can’t afford!
I’ve learned a lot about business by being a student of the last three ecomonomics companies I worked for. My fervent hope is to keep the few parts that I agree with, discard the lying and unethical shit, and do something for myself. I’m still looking for that magical idea.
I guarantee you this: I do not want to have anything to do with the products of the last three companies where I’ve worked. One product is pointless, one is pathetically stupid, and one is on the edge of being downright evil.
There has gots to be something I can do where I won’t have to sell my soul.