The Office is the critically acclaimed British comedy turned American sitcom on NBC. The Brits had it right they touched upon something that everyone can relate to, crazy people in the workplace. The antics that can happen right before your eyes with consenting adults are comedic in themselves. Like a television program we are glued to our cubicles gossiping about the person on the 11th floor or who’s dating who for a promotion. We usually have unruly or dimwitted bosses and policies that would make even Rodney Dangerfield laugh in his grave. Slaves to the man as one would say.
The Office touches upon all the stress and emotions that goes along with working in corporate America. The Working Class step into their own personal war zone everyday when they clock in at 8am. In fact most Americans work 12-14hr days, 5 days a week. It’s a jungle out there and everyone is clamoring to be the first in line for a promotion or a raise. Overworked and underpaid fewer workers are satisfied with their current positions and most dream of a job that they enjoy. Is it possible to have both a job you love and a job that pays? Some would say no but there have been some people that went on record to say they love their jobs and make a decent living doing it. Those are the lucky ones, the ones who have the chance to live out their dream and make a bit of cash doing it. If you don’t have a college degree most companies won’t even consider you for top level positions even if you’re background makes you more than qualified.
I have always been an advocate for experience over education. Sounds bad right? The school can teach you a lot but experience can show you so much more, being book smart does not always help you in the real world. Donald Trump touched upon this on his show The Apprentice, where book smarts’ battled street smarts in a bid to win a job with the man himself. It came down to two women from each side and in the end book smarts won, but was it truly the right decision. Some will argue that while book smart may know the technical aspect of why we do something the street smart will understand better how to relay that to others or would be better at negotiations because of having a better view of how business actually works and how people work. You can’t learn this in a book it can only be absorbed through work experience. This could possibly go back and forth forever as to who is really a better candidate I guess it will be the classic chicken before the egg argument. The world may never know.
With more and more companies cutting back on employees that leaves more work for less people to do and productivity and morale is failing in most large corporations. Companies are also cutting back on the nice extras they used to provide employees, parties, bonuses, luncheons and raises. We can’t forget how good it makes an employee feel to know their work is appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed. By cutting back on these nice extras we are sending a message to employees that their work and dedication means nothing. I’ve heard from so many co-workers how great our company was when it was owned by a different company. I’ve been told the bonuses were great the raises were perfect and we were given tons of extras like large holiday parties and gifts, we were appreciated. Now I find that most of the current employees are disgruntled, bitter, overworked, and find that they don’t like their jobs as much as they used to. They won’t give their 100% because they feel their company has turned their backs on them.
Granted our country does not follow the trend in China where they work 7 days a week 12-14hrs a day but we are getting close to their ways. Every company feels that if you want to get ahead in the business world you have to work, work, work, even if that means giving up family time and downtime. Today companies are cutting back on sick time and vacation time for employees. It’s gotten so bad most people feel guilty for taking days off of work. Also companies have adopted the term privilege when discussing sick time saying that having them is a privilege not a right. It’s what the Bush administration has been doing for years now, fear tactics. Somewhere in the back of people’s minds they believe they will be fired for taking too much time off and this is just another ploy to control employees.
Stress is at an all time high with jobs being scarce and the economy not doing as well as it’s done in previous years. With little to no help from the government companies are bearing the brunt of high healthcare cost for employees and low profits. Corporate buyouts have become commonplace and mergers are always on the menu. Little business has been drowned out by the big brother next door leaving consumers little choices in where to shop or invest their money.
LARGE corporations like Walmart and Home Depot are symbols of the new America capitalizing on lighter pockets and wholesale products. Walmart uses their low prices to higher employees at minimum wage and work them off the clock and locked in stores after hours. They prey on the low income families who desperately need work promise them the world and only deliver on slave labor. Walmart has been under constant scrutiny from worker advocate groups that believe their practices are unsafe environments for employees and are no better than a common sweatshop. Home Depot has been known to slack on safety guidelines making theirs an unsafe workplace where many deaths have occurred from employees to customers.
Most large corporations love to make a profit, but at what cost, who suffers the most, the employees. CNN Money voted for these companies as the Best Companies of 2006 to work for http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/full_list/
Most companies on this list I have to admit I’ve never even heard of, sad isn’t it? The companies that are constantly shoved down our throats, ringing in our ears are rarely good companies to work for.
Companies aren’t just cutting in bonuses and raises they are also cutting down lunch times and break times some employees not even taking a lunch hour. This in my view is absolutely unacceptable. The respect and admiration that once existed for hard work has taken a place on the backburner to profits and making the CEOs rich. When employee morale is down productivity will take a dive which in turn will slow down profits and business will be lost. When will large companies see the error of their ways and get back to what matters the most, the people who make you the money. Working for a large firm I see firsthand how money can rule the world and when it comes down to losing money the employees suffer the most. Living paycheck to paycheck today is a way of life and it’s difficult to get ahead when prices skyrocket, paychecks lessen, and a war is eating at our pockets. In a time when the country is so divisive over politics, religion and just about everything else we look to our jobs to give us hope. We want a house with a white picket fence two cars and enough money to put our children through college. Today that dream is being crushed for so many who struggle daily just to make ends meet. Maybe with a new president a new time things may look up again and corporations will take notice to the error of their ways. Until then we just have to wait and see.