I am hearing so many stories from friends and the media about these rough economic times. It is a scary time for millions of people worldwide, especially those who have been recently laid off and those who are surviving and struggling to find a job. When you start to add up all these external factors in the job market with economic factors such as “decline in this, decline in that”, “gas and utilities prices rising”, and “foreclosures at a all-time high” to name a few, we all can safely conclude that this is not an environment most people would want to abandon their current jobs. Unfortunately, many are faced with the reality that their current jobs are not the best place for our peace of mind.
The workplace environment has changed, for better or worse. As companies, large and small, are adjusting to these economic times as well – scaling back salaries, raises, benefits, and costs. It is commonplace to hear employees taking a voluntary pay-cut to save the overall well-being of a company. It is also commonplace to hear of stories of corruption. Let’s just put this out in the open. No matter what the environment, there will always be the good and the bad people. Sadly, the bad always seem to aggressively find a way to take advantage of the times.
Let’s consider an employee that is a top performer and willing to do anything for the overall success of her company. She does not want the company to fail and does not want her co-workers to lose their jobs. And of course, she can’t afford to lose her job and the income to support her family. Ok, I am sure you know where this is going. Now, let’s take her boss. Due to circumstances related to the economy, he is struggling to grow the company. His decisions are counter-productive. His behavior is destructive and poisoning. He has diminished his value with his employees by compromising their integrity.
The workplace has become very challenging and unhealthy. The good employee sits and does her job foregoing her pay to keep the operations running – “No Pay!” The promise of delivering her payroll keeps extending. In the duration of not getting paid, the boss is spending money recklessly that does not help the company.
The good employee’s morale sinks deeper as she sees “her money” go towards expensive steak dinners to cater to the boss’s luxurious lifestyle. Days become weeks. Weeks become months. There is now a mounting “I O U” without intent to pay. Without pay, the good employee suffers and no matter how resilient she is, she is not enjoying her life – “No Play!”
The only conclusion? It’s “Time to Get Away!”
On the surface, this sounds like a very easy decision for the good employee. Yet, it is quite a challenging one considering all the unknowns. Will she get another job? How will she recover her back pay? The questions run deeper on a personal level. How can she commit to a company, work so hard, give her blood and tears to be rewarded in this matter? Is this some sorta of test? Why do bad things happen to good people? What does this event and experience say about her as a person? Is she naive? Is she too giving? Does she sacrifice her values and integrity? The questions are endless and profound when you take it to a deeper personal level. Yet, the lessons and answers can be priceless and will help the good employee grow and move on from this experience.
We often find ourselves in situations where we try our best to avoid or prevent. Sometimes no matter how we believe we are doing what we feel is right and we believe we are taking the right path, there is a bump along the road. These bumps are indications for us to reassess our lives. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on how we arrived at this point and where we are heading. Think of it as a checkpoint. We all have to stop and refuel before moving on.
How would you react if this was you?