Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Blame the Smart Phone

There’s a reason I never went for an office job.  I have a low tolerance for office politics and what seems to me to be corporate bullshit.  I don’t like brown-nosers, those people who have their nostrils so far up their boss’s derriere they know what his wife had for breakfast.  That people would grovel and sacrifice their dignity for another rung on the corporate ladder is beyond sad.  The fact that it works is even more pitiful.  It wouldn’t matter how well I did my job because there’s a line I won’t cross just to be smiled upon by some arrogant employer in a suit that wipes his ass the same way as the rest of us just with more expensive toilet paper.

I also believe it’s worse now than a decade ago and I blame the smart phone.  Employers now know that you can be reached 24/7 and because of that they expect you to be forever on call and at their mercy.  With the advent of the smart phone, people can not only check personal email, but work email, as well.  Therefore, employers expect a quicker response because they know you keep your cell phone close in case your sweetie sends you that special naughty picture you’ve been hinting about for days.  It doesn’t matter that you’re not at the office.  It doesn’t matter that you’re with your family after working a ten hour day or even if you’re on vacation.  Employers now feel they own you and you better respond.

Between laptops and smart phones, people are always connected and this has caused the work-home balance to probably be skewed more toward the work column.  “It’ll only take a minute or two” may very well be true, but twenty of those add up to quite a bit of disjointed family time.  It’s hard to relax or have that quality family time around the television if a person has to keep checking their phone.  We can’t blame our children for always having an electronic device glued to their face when they see Mommy and Daddy doing it.  “But you were at work all day.  Why are you working now?”

People feel that their jobs are threatened if they don’t answer emails or phone calls during their family time.  This is bullying on an adult level.  Employers pile the work on because they expect you to be able to do it even if it means once you’re home you’re working another six hours.  What’s funny is that most of these employers have a policy against personal calls or doing personal business during work hours.  Yet, they don’t respect your time as they want you to respect theirs.  I don’t have the tolerance for that.

I’ve always given whatever job I had my best effort.  However, when I clock out, I clock out.  That’s my time.  My family’s time.  I don’t mind a “once in a blue moon” assignment that requires extra time, but not every night or even every week.

I’m also quick to make my point known.

“Hey, Robbie, who were you on the phone with just now?”

“My wife.”

“What have I said about personal calls at work?”

“I don’t know.  I forgot the minute you kept calling me at home.  You owe me another hour, by the way.”

And they don’t compensate employees for their work at home.  Now, I’m not one that expects to be compensated for every minute or who can’t do the occasional favor.  However, if my employer is expecting me to work at home every night, then somehow he needs to compensate me for the extra work.

“You’ll either do it or be looking for a job.”

“I was looking for a job when I found this one.  I need a job, but I don’t necessarily need this one.  I’m an employee, not a slave.”  If they respect my home life, then I’ll respect the work place.

And that’s probably why I’m now self-employed.  I’m the only one who can put up with me and even I find me difficult to work with at times.

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  1. You know what Robbie?? You ARE SO RIGHT!! I always thought when spent 19yrs in the banking industry that "office politics and brown noser's just came along for the ride, and maybe I was the one with the attitude....NOPE...I call some of those Power Trip People....Adult Bullies!! Catherine :-)

    1. When it was discovered I didn't care if they let me go, they left me alone to work lol. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  3. You ought to work in a so-called "Team" environment like I did at Nortel in Nashville. My team was all smokers except for me. Every half hour they would be outside smoking, and the boss was usually out there with them. They all complained because I wouldn't help them with their work because they had fallen behind. I was busy keeping up with my own work. So when every evaluation time rolled around, I was always labled as being not a team player. I was advised to start helping out if I wanted to get a raise next time. I pointed out that when I fell behind because a ton of work fell my way, no one came to help me - they were too busy being outside in the smoke pen. So how was I the one that wasn't being a team player? I guess I should have took up smoking. I was the only one that didn't get a raise for several years. I told them they could keep their stupid raise. I guess like you, I just don't play well with others. But that cell phone thing, I've never had to deal with thank goodness. I got out of the rat race a little over 3 yrs ago. And the phone I had back then was just smart enough to turn itself off when I wasn't at work.

    1. I can sympathize with the smoking situation. Have seen that habit abused at work before. I often asked if I could take one. I smoke cigars and I would be out there for an hour and a half lol.

      That's the key, Robert. Turn off the phone and get people used to you not answering it all the time. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  4. Another post that is so on point, Robbie. Technology, for all the convenience it provides, has really made our work vs. personal time become so muddled. I find it to be true even with some of my freelance clients who send me requests that will take, "just a second" all hours of the day/night/week. I've made it pretty clear that there are times when I am simply not available and also let them know that for me to offer them my best effort requires down time. For the most part, they respect it but those who don't quickly find someone who provides the brown nose technique. LOL I am with you on not being an office type person, although, when I did work for a county agency, the birthday cake days were something to look forward to. : )

    1. I see too many phones being checked at dinner tables and stopping the middle of conversations. Manners seem to have been forgotten. At a certain time I like to put it down and just walk away from it.

      And cake day sounds fun. Maybe I''ll have it for my characters lol. As always, thanks for visiting and commenting! I hope you managed some quietness this Sunday.