One Way Loyalty

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I was up early this morning with another headache. I tried to do a post but I didn’t like so I deleted it. Now I’m back after working out and the medicine is also helping so I’m going to try again. Basically, its a little heavier topic and I kind of like keeping my posts light and airy.

Before we start the main thought, just a couple of random little notes.

Was noticing while I was working out that I’m starting to use heavier weight on some of the machines. Not all but some. You look for the little things that show progress. The only thing I really can’t get used to yet is the old guys who insist on walking around naked in the locker room. You know a little modesty goes a long way.

So the recent hurricane stayed together long enough to hit the part of Canada that we just visited. I was watching some of the damage and it was a little freaky seeing damage to places we had just been to. I don’t think there were any major injuries so I wish them luck in getting things cleaned up and put back together.

I think I mentioned it before but I had lunch with a couple of people last Thursday. I’ve had my moments of adjustment and everyone is going to process being terminated in different ways. One of my team (she wasn’t at the lunch) seemed especially hurt because “she had been loyal”.

Then, I saw an article over the weekend about companies and the social contract and how that is pretty much in shreds. A long time ago, everyone wanted to work for the biggest company in town because they were stable and never laid anyone off. So, if you got in, you could work there forever and then retire with great benefits. That may be true in certain places but is really no longer the norm.

Millennials get a lot of grief in certain quarters for (a) being entitled and (b) not having the same work ethic as previous generations. Well typically this is baby boomers saying this. The stereotype of a millennial is that they expect to be promoted shortly after being hired but they always leave the office early. And if they don’t get what they want, they just quit and find something else.

First of all, it is total crap to lump everyone born within a certain time period into groups and say they all act the same. But, secondly, even if that is the prevailing attitude, there isn’t that much wrong with it. Companies can no longer guarantee any kind of loyalty so why the hell should they expect it? Yes, they can point to all the things they offer and all the goodies and things they use to try and buy your loyalty. But, in the end, if they need to save money, well they’ll just cash out a few people and call it a day.

There are probably some broad general truths to generational theory. Things that you observe do have some impact on your life and your worldview. Not that everyone thinks the same way about every issue but they probably are some broad patterns. So rethinking the social contract with employers isn’t a bad thing.

Now a little side note. My real problem with generational stuff is that people kind of draw the lines arbitrarily. If you buy into the thought process that big events like the Vietnam War shape attitudes, then age isn’t the only factor. I know someone just two years older than I am but she had older siblings and so she “remembers” more things than I do. Those memories may just be conversations that her family had and that’s probably what shapes things. Anyway, if you look at certain sources, they’d put me in the boomer category. But when they run down the “traits”, I’m far closer to Gen X. Now that’s not important to this conversation but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

Well I got off on a bit more of a tangent than I wanted to here.

I feel a little bad for this person if she truly felt that loyalty was all that mattered to the company. I do wonder sometimes how people can sleep at night but they probably have the same mentality that the mob did in the Godfather. “It’s not personal. It’s just business.” Of course it is very personal to anyone let go in a corporate purging.

So if we have a workforce with a healthy skepticism towards big corporate life, I don’t see that as a bad thing. Just because a place pays you a salary, it doesn’t mean they own you. And why let them suck up your soul and life energy trying to solve all their little emergencies, when, in the end, you are a disposable asset. Not saying you spend your entire day cruising the internet but if a place is demanding a lot of extra time, then you really should get out because, in the end, it isn’t worth it. One way loyalty isn’t loyalty, its exploitation.

And, with that, I shall go and enjoy the rest of my day.

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