Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back to the grind

And so begins another work week. It's Tuesday, it feels like Monday, and my motivation is zero. On the bright side, traffic was still light today. I'm not looking forward to a return to our regularly scheduled nasty traffic.

I was talking to a co-worker this morning. Every year we have an employee survey that we're asked to do (OK, nearly hounded to do - they're real big about wanting as many people to participate as possible), and once it's finished, we have small-group "listening sessions" to discuss the biggest areas of dissatisfaction (which have yet to change in the nearly three years I've been here). One of the five is always that no one feels like anything will change as a result of this survey, and I think the reason for that is clear - the survey topics never change. The general consensus is that we're paid too little and asked to do too much work, and we feel like we aren't free to speak our minds (because there is a bad list around here, oh yes, there is). Anyway, this year's listening sessions were held not too long before Christmas. My co-worker said that one of the people in his group regularly reads up on our company, and this person was saying that in one of the articles he read, our CEO was talking about the efficiency of our latest merger. He was bragging about saving costs by cutting back on salaries. So it's a point of pride to our CEO that we're paid under market. I know companies are in business to make money, not to make sure I'm happy - I can appreciate that. But when you hear on the one hand that your company is setting milestone after milestone, breaking new financial ground left and right, has annual net income in the billions - well, it's really a slap in the face to hear your CEO bragging about how the company keeps costs down by cutting back on salaries. And where, then, do you think all that profit is going? I haven't seen a red dime in raises or bonuses since I've been here.

It's not just me who's unhappy. The co-worker I was talking to this morning started at just about the same time I did, we went through our training together, we were teammates until just a few months ago, so we're pretty close friends. He told me this morning that he really just wanted to go cry, he was so discouraged about being here. I've never worked any place where so many people are so unhappy. And it just upsets me - I work with good people, intelligent people, people who are (for the most part) willing to work hard and want to do a good job. We all deserve better than this.

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