We've all been weathering the economic abyss as best we can...the very idea of 'survival' makes you sink or swim, fish or cut bait, as there isn't much of a middle ground to do nothing at all when it comes to how all of this affects our personal lifestyle.
Even before this international mess, the idea of working your lifetime 9-5 for a company like my dad did was long shot to hell in a handbasket. Rare is the business that truly protects its employees and values their years of service...seems like protocol anymore is to slice those cords at the drop of a hat and send people on their way because their wages are higher and they're more costly to the retirement system. 'Too bad, buh-bye, good luck. Thanks for your dedication, which doesn't mean a hill of beans to us at this point.' Such stories are a dime a dozen, sadly.
My bigger concern is the longer haul. Here we have companies that are doing what they deem as necessary to 'make it', which for most means cutting jobs and asking those still with jobs to take on additional responsibilities for those let go, without any additional compensation in any way, shape, or form. Be thankful you have a job, they say. Remember, you're replaceable, they say.
What do you think will happen as pastures start turning greener once we bottom out and begin seeing a repaired economy? Will companies replace the workers they let go and get back to business as in the past?
Call me a skeptic. I think most will not. Afterall, they'll be able to say, "Hey, look at the work we got accomplished with this truncated staff...we're getting the job done with a nice low bottom line." Employees that kept their jobs are likely to keep their added burdens for quite some time.
I truly used to think that most businesses would value your work and protect you through thick and thin. I now know that's pretty much a fairy tale. I have little trust in the 'goodness' factor of Corporate America, and this is from an outsider looking in who chose to shift to the outside last year. The Almighty Dollar will continue to reign supreme, sadly and short-sightedly.
My hope, if not prayer, is that there is a movement afoot in the business world that will acknowledge and deal with matters not from a bottom-line dollar view but from an intrinsic overall spiritual view as well, looking at employees as a community and not just a commodity. "Old School" can be a good thing.
With that said I'll step down off my soapbox and return to my sawdust world with my dust mask on...