Friday, January 13, 2012

Addendum to yesterdays entry...

Post script to yesterday’s rant, and the fact that it had little or nothing to do with my virus, directly:
I only wish there was some way to wake up employers like mine to the reality that their workforce is their most valuable asset. 

The learning curve for some of the work we do is amazingly long. The best people who work here have a goldmine of knowledge and skill acquired over decades of work for this company. The majority of the employees here are skilled craftsmen in a very specialized industry. Additionally, anyone who has worked here for more than five years has sacrificed to help keep the company afloat in the bad times. When the owner remarks to us that “growing is painful”, he doesn’t realize that much of that pain has fallen on us.

Mr. Employer, sir… with all due respect, now that you have and are spending copious amounts of money to buy and move us to larger quarters, build new computer systems, develop new and exciting products and hire lawyers, consultants and space-planners, please don’t email us the gas bill you paid last month when the weather turned briefly cold and we were forced to use the few gas heaters provided to keep our work area warm enough to work. It’s bad enough that there are no water heaters to provide hot water on the whole property. A $1500 gas bill for a facility that spans the equivalent of two city blocks is not that shocking. Forgive me for saying so but… complaining to those of us who have trouble paying our own gas bills is pretty bad form.

I’m not completely without empathy for business owners. I watched my dad start and run a successful business for two decades. I sat in the same room with him for half of that time as an estimator. He used to say, “90% of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at.” He knew that hiring good people who were smarter than him at the thing he needed done and then paying them what they are worth to do it was the best way to have a smart business. Employees that invest and reap the dividends will invest more. Without invested labor, your company will always falter and flail, real growth will always be just out of reach.

Finally, I want to say that my own employment aside (I’m fortunate to have ASO resources if needed); I know there are people here with little if any resources available to help them if their jobs are lost. I’ve said what I needed to say to my employer last week after a minor disagreement over an inappropriate deduction taken from my check. I told him that I felt badly that *company name* seemed to ask the most from the people that they value the least. He said that I hurt his feelings with my remark but did not seek to understand the reason I made the remark. I was not necessarily referencing myself so much as his total workforce. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he really wanted to understand what’s really going on?

Anyway… working on a fun entry for the weekend… Think “Treasure”

Much love,

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