Side note: figuring out what “working” is. Because yup, bunches of people are finding that “bodies around the table” meetings are not actually “working.” Especially if “working” is supposed to be “activities that add value to my employer’s company.”

I started my working life (not counting mowing lawns and delivering books in high school) in the US Navy. It was an article of faith, of course, that the military was hopelessly inept, and the kinds of useless activities that went on in the Navy would never be tolerated in a for-profit company. Because if employees aren’t doing useful things while being paid, the company is losing money, right?

Big shock to me when I entered the civilian workforce: companies (mostly) have no clue they if are making money. Or not. I worked for a non-profit, a large national corporation, a medium-sized local business, an international corporation, and a small local business; none of them had a clear, coherent picture (that was ever passed down to middle managers) as to whether the company was anything other than “profitable,” as defined by the accountants. One company was doing great, was doing great, was doing great… was declaring bankruptcy and getting bought out. The company I left when I retired decided, in dealing with the Trump Pandemic and working remotely, that people would be judged based on the number of hours they were logged in remotely; not what goals they met, what tasks they completed, what problems they solved, but how long their home computer was able to stay connected to the office server, because “that was fair.” (It wasn’t, btw; some people had awful Internet connections, and the company refused to pay for home upgrades because “they could just use it to watch Netflix.” 🙄)

It’s an article of faith (faith = “belief in things unseen”) that “hard workers” at a company get rewarded. This faith continues, despite anyone who has actually worked being able to provide counter examples, because otherwise what’s the frakin’ point? Your article, Brian, is the start of looking at the frakin’ point. 👍

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Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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