Worker Woes

Written and submitted by lisafied. 


How many of you reading this are truly happy and contented with your jobs? Or are you just in in it for the stack of bills which come at the end of the month? Let’s get real, probably only 20% of you reading this will probably say ‘Yes, I love what I do and I get paid fairly well’.

If you have boss or a colleague from the baby-boomers era, they’d probably say ‘You know 20 years ago, when I was your age ah, I just work and work and work. If boss give promotion, good la. If not, it’s ok la. Work still must do.’ That is, by the way, a legit conversation I had with a co-worker not too long back.

Ask the young millennials nowadays and most of them would say the all famous ‘work-life balance’ phrase. I work hard and I play harder.

Now, what if you ask those in between these two generations? You get a whole platter of mixed answers and reactions. Some tend to lean more towards the baby-boomers schools of thought while some have the millennials mindset. And yes of course, some will say half-half.

I am in the ‘half-half’ category of people and there are many like me. I work very hard and truly believe that hard work, honesty and loyalty will bear sweet fruits. At the same time, I expect my work to be appreciated and recognised accordingly. And not forgetting the occasional flexibility, i.e.: ‘Boss, I will be going to the post office during lunch. I forgot to renew my license which expired two weeks back and today sure got road block. Will go during lunch, but just giving you a heads up in case I run a little late.’

Fair enough right?

Speak to a HR professional and their gospel would be employee retention. How to keep their good staffs without burning too big of a hole in their pockets. Considering that other factors besides money are involved, respect, understanding, culture, recognition etc.

I chatted with a few people who were actively looking out for new jobs in these very volatile times as to why they wanted to leave their organisation so badly. What I heard was borderline funny, ridiculous and totally obnoxious.

One was screamed at in front of the whole office because the boss thought she had printed a wrong report. Turns out, the boss read the wrong report. And this happened 3 times in the short span of 2 months. He has used words like stupid, fool, idiot and some rather colorful language as well. Why not report to HR?

‘Aiya, just let it go. You know he has issues with his temper. Don’t think about it too much’. So how can this person be respected?

One submitted a project paper after weeks of research. Finally satisfied, he submitted it to his boss only to hear him say it was badly done. No reason given as to why he thought so because he did not have the time to explain to him. Slightly dejected, he worked on research part 2, trying to figure out on his own what went wrong and getting advice and guidance from others who were willing to help. Fast forward a few months, he saw the first research paper lying on his table, with only the boss’ name on it. After some digging, he got to know that Management was so happy with ‘his’ work and he was getting a fat increment for it. And not forgetting, he stressed on the fact that he stayed up many nights to complete it, sacrificing weekends and family time. All this bragged about to others while he sat right next to the poor guy. He probably was so above his head, he forgot that he didn’t actually do the work. This same incident happened in 2 projects if you’re wondering. So, how does someone put in effort for work when they know it is never going to be rewarded?

Inter-department drama can be horrid. Especially when you have 2 or more competing for a promotion or to be the boss’ blue-eyed boy. Back stabbing, lying, throwing someone under the bus is part of office politics, some would say.  Life is unfair after all, right? But when politics affect your bread and butter which is the main reason we all work, is it acceptable? How does someone ‘look on the bright side’ and still go to work with the supposed enthusiasm and drive?

Another friend works in a department where a promotion is literally unheard of for someone who is not the same race as the boss. So much so, it has become a norm. How this is acceptable, I have no idea. And to think that this happens in this era and age. When asked why didn’t she look out for another job, her answer was simple: ‘It’s not that I’m not good, the sad reality is that there are many in this same position, believe it or not. Race card is still in the game’. And I do have to agree with that statement since I have been victimised as well.

These are only some from the buckets of stories I’ve heard. These have driven exceptional talents out of companies and some even out of the country. And brain drain you say? How do we keep these talents motivated, spirited and productive?

Shoot your thoughts on this, positive or negative, all are welcome to It’s all part of learning, no?


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