Today I went on a 45 minute break and was told by my boss to get someone to cover for me if I decide to go on another “long” break again. To put this in context I am the only one working in customer service for 15 companies and there is no one else to cover for me. I am also currently working nine and a half hour shifts. By law I am required at least an hour break.
(As you can see this is clearly illegal)
I have never owned a business before, nor have I been the C.E.O of anything other than myself. However from managing different kinds of people for years and having a behavioral sociology degree I have always been curious about others and am hyper aware of my surroundings. One thing is for sure. As Robert Frost said, “The World is full of willing people… those willing to work and those willing to let them.” In other words there are those who work and then there are those who take advantage. I see myself as the former; however it is a double edged sword. This quote implies that you are either being taken advantage of or you are taking advantage of someone else. I do not believe fully in this quote as a good working environment consist of people working towards the same goal. It is the definition of teamwork.
Being part of the millennial generation who strives for happiness and meaning working in a 1950’s corporate environment is not something anyone would strive for. I do not mind working in an office, by all means. I am very on task and love working with people. However, there is something de-humanizing about this specific workplace. It is all about humanization. People want to feel like human beings at the end of the day. Working for a company that does not even care to fake caring about its employees is what ruins a business. At least some corporate jobs pretend to care. The one I work for does not.
I have found that there is a caste system to poor businesses.
Caste System of Poor Business:
The Old King:
Hardheaded leader who does not listen to his/her employees and delegates unreasonable rules/ jobs and deadlines. The King asks for things in which he is not willing to provide the resources for. The king sees everyone as disposable. (ex. He recently asked the only marketing employee for the entire company to count how many jars were in a video while she was in the middle of an important meeting)
The Lazy Queen:
Has been in the company enough to know the ins and outs, but also long enough to only pretend to care. The queen has the power to leave the company for months at a time and have a job when she gets back. She also knows everything that is going on constantly.
Feels the need to remind everyone that he/she has “power.” Does not allow others to ever feel comfortable at what they do. He/She likes to withhold information from peers and chooses who they will stand up for and who they will put down. “Allowed in or out” Once they make their choice, there is no turning back.
The guard dog:
This person has not been in the company for long, but somehow holds power. He/she likes to “bark” orders and follow you around regardless of whether they are your superior or not. This person went to school for something completely unrelated than her career. When guard dog barks they are secretly convincing themselves that they are important to the company.
This person has been in the company long enough to know what needs to be done in order to keep under the radar. He/She does “just enough,” work so that they do not get in trouble. This person has no shame and will C.C the king on all e-mails. He/She knows that the only way to stay in the castle is by playing dumb. The fool gets away with everything.
These are the people who keep the company running, but get no credit are underpaid and get sanctioned if they try to stand up for themselves. The slaves are also required to “keep a positive attitude.” Slaves get the jobs in which The Fool, The queen, the king and Guard Dog are not “in the mood,” to take care of. Slaves are also constantly told that the person who previously held the job title was “better,” in one way or another. However, the previous slaves quit for the same reason the current slaves contemplate on leaving.
There will always be a hierarchy in any group situation, much more so a company. However, there is no reason why anyone should feel dehumanized in any way shape or form. I know that our generation may be asking too much by wanting to work for a company that cares about the happiness of their employees. There are some jobs, although they are not as chic as Google or Viacom try daily to make their employees feel needed and welcomed.
Although I am the only customer service representative and VRP manager for the entire company, I not only do not feel needed, but I do not feel human. Whenever I do feel human they make it an effort to put me down.
I do not wish to run… I’d be happy to crawl, but walking upright is what I deserve.
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Thank you for reading! I think that the first step is awareness that something in wrong in the workplace.
I can relate to this. Because I work hard, I always end up as a slave. It’s those rural ethics I grew up with about hard work putting me in that position. You can take a kid off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the kid!