Wednesday, 2 March 2016
The big fish, small fish ratio
I was saying a few weeks ago that I was tired of conflict, but have now come to the conclusion that it is unavoidable, almost on a daily basis.
Everyone is unwittingly placing themselves in confrontational situations, purely to safeguard their own arses. This especially applies to the workplace, and it especially applies to these troubled times of economic crisis, when a lifetime's worth of work (if you leave school now, you will not get a pension until you are 75) ends with the stark realisation that a pension of any kind is not guaranteed, even if you have been putting £30 per week into a private one.
I think all that anyone wants to do is eat and pay the bills in the most enjoyable way possible, but 40+ hours per week surrounded and pushed about by hungry and competitive colleagues is rarely conducive to human happiness. The young do not understand this, because all they know is what they have had to endure from the beginning. For them this is normal, and any aspirations to any sort of 'fulfilment' is considered a luxury which they cannot afford. 'Be thankful you have a job at all', were the very words said to a friend of mine when she asked to be given a tiny raise to the minimum wage at a famous clothes retailer. She was over 40 years old at the time.
Years ago I said that every aspect of life in Britain was being taken over by managers, and these people - once enthroned - are very difficult to shift from their positions, either physically or ideologically. They write their own contracts, you see. They formulate their own job descriptions just before describing yours. Even their employers can't easily shift them. In the banking world, when they are ignominiously sacked, they are also given a six-figure bonus on top of their pensions.
Now my question is, could this be blamed on the E.U.? The other - more pressing - question is, if we leave the E.U. along with all the legislation to do with reforming the lives of ordinary working people, could the managers revert back to enforcing long hours for low pay at the same time as reinforcing their own positions in the commercial world? It's worth thinking about, because the business world is not going to talk about these ramifications. It is one small consideration hidden amongst a bewildering set of others which we don't have too long to think about.
Today I am going to a workplace which has recently been taken over by a power-hungry, territorial and frightened group of back-biters (it's a dangerous mix), but instead of quietly getting on with it as I have been doing for many years there, I am going to confront any obstacles I encounter from recently installed managers with the words, "If you think that I serve no valuable purpose here, then go and speak to the estate manager about it, but for the meantime, leave me alone."
Of course, I know that they cannot do what I do, otherwise they would already be doing it, but they don't. At my age, I have to be careful, because I cannot afford to wait for the time it would take the client to realise that they cannot easily replace me.
Posted by Tom Stephenson at 02:49