Friday, March 12, 2010
Corporate America and the Shitter
Once upon a time, big companies ran streamlined. They were headed by powerhouses who meant business, no pun intended. They knew how to make snap decisions. In Donald Trump fashion they laid down the law of hiring and firing with an air of confidence, of arrogance and certainly of their own decision.
They made the rules, they lived and died by the sword as it were. Wheeling and dealing late into the night to get things done, for the greater good of the company. They did what they had to do. People were hired based on their ability to perform. Based on what they had to show for themselves. They were high-fived, they were lighting cigars at the end of a job well done.
Now it is all politics and red-tape. A person not hired because they are able to perform at an optimal level, but because they pass a mundane "personality test". Not because the tasks they are given to prove they are the best man or woman for the job are completed with vigor and with professionalism, but because they fit a quota, or a tax break.
There are ridiculous HR regulations. Countless seminars on how not to do things. On the sudden uprising on what the world now thinks the word "Ethics" means. Businesses running into the ground because these new and supposedly improved practices give-way to higher turnovers, lower salaries, and people not able to move up in their current positions. Job frustration over having to jump through countless hoops to get a seemingly simple task accomplished, like a circus animal no longer there to perform a job, but a performance to amuse the puppet masters at the top of the food chain in their cushy offices, signing check after check with minimal dollar signs.
This has become the bane of my existence. Caught up in this red-tape like a crime scene. Consumed by the banality of it all. Questioned day after day by colleagues as to why I am not just hired out-right. Complimented by members of senior management for my continued efforts to go above and beyond my basic duties to help others, to get things done. It's not intention as to say "Look at me! look at me!", it's how I was raised. I know what a proper work ethic is, and I am one of the few left in my generation that has one.
I wonder where it all got lost. Where that finite line of definition that led someone in to that ominous office once upon a time, interviewing with the Head Honcho's of yore. Getting grilled incessantly as you sat either timid and frightened by them, or poised and composed. Assuring yourself a job. Proving yourself at that job, and getting a hearty "Good work" as you punched out for the day.
How have the once booming Corporate Tycoons become the timid field mice they are today?
No wonder the economy's in the shitter.