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Feb. 6th, 2008

Coming from a friend who was told:

"Well, if you were an employee, I would be in a position to demand that you stay here and do your work, no matter what your personal plans were after work."

I did contract work for something like ten years. In that time, the biggest thing that I learned was that "company loyalty" is a complete illusion: you work for the company and they pay you, it is a mutually beneficient relationship. When it ceases to be mutual, it's time to leave.

If I'm an employee, and you have a need for me to finish something by a particular time, I have no problem if you ask me to stay and work on something. If you treat me with respect and I enjoy what I'm doing, chances are very good that I will stay and do what you ask.

But demand? Oh, hell no.

I'm pretty lucky in that my workplace is very proactive in respect and communication. Sure there are snafus just like anyplace, but really it's a good environment. After my time in the Gulag, it saved me from abandoning engineering entirely. And when I hear of things like this, I remember the abusive environment that was in place in the Gulag, and my sphincter puckers just a little. And I hear stories like these from time to time from different folks where some companies treat their employees as if they own them, that the company must come first and all of that

So I'm wondering from you all out there, does the company that you work for demand your loyalty, or do they cultivate it?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
most companies take care of this problem by hiring middle aged women with inferiority complexes, ne?
Feb. 6th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Demand? No. Expect? Oh, yes. They don't demand we work overtime - but developers are often held over to finish by a deadline. They do it because they are people of integrity, not out of loyalty.

They came from a mom-and-pop-style small firm that got purchased by a bigger company. They have people who've given decades to this company in one form or another. I actually met a woman in the elevator this week who is retiring Friday after 42 years here. FORTY-TWO. YEARS!

They seem a bit baffled when I say and do things to question the the norm or point out that the company hasn't earned the loyalty they expect. I have begun speaking up and saying what others won't and basically being the thorn in management's side. I got complimented for my "courage" by a coworker just today. I figure these career-limiting moves of mine might just inspire someone else to buck the system a little.
Feb. 6th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
in corp world, women were spit out at middle age. (where i worked). by 50, you were gone.
where i am now is not that. not at all.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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