I’ve never been as disgusted as I was a few weeks ago while attending a retirement lunch for one of my colleagues. It became clear that he and his wife, who had already retired from our company, had some deep-seated issues about the way our company’s management dealt with matters pertaining to their careers, but so do lots of people who have been in any workplace for 20+ years. To complain in private is one thing, but to lambast our organization and some of its management and employees in front of their family, friends, and people in our industry was incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate. What’s happened to people’s civility? It makes me not want any kind of company celebration for my retirement.
Disgusted by retiree’s public rant
Dear Disgusted by retiree’s public rant:
I am in complete agreement with you. Most organizations, like families, have dirty laundry, but neither should be aired in public. I cannot support or condone such behavior, but this incident should not prevent you from having your employer sponsor a celebration of your retirement, a most momentous occasion.
Your March 29, 2011 column, “Employee dissatisfied with new boss’s attitude,” brought back some memories. For the first 25 years of my employment with a Fortune 500 company, I had several managers with different personalities, but I enjoyed working for each of them. I always felt respected, appreciated, and valued. My employer had what was called an open door policy which allowed any employee to progress up the management chain for conflict resolution, but it was rarely used. During my last five years with the company, I found that management’s attitude changed. The open door policy was never mentioned and many employees were made to feel that their jobs were on the line everyday. To this day, I’m not sure what brought on the management philosophy change. The immediate downside, which I saw firsthand, was it stifled imagination and creativity. When you feel your job is on the line everyday, you’re afraid to try new things because if they don’t work, you might miss a schedule or be considered unproductive. I hope there will be a return to the attitude where management truly believes its greatest resource is its employees.
Employees are most important
Dear Employees are most important:
Amen! Your hopes are my hopes. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience.
As an independent contractor, I was contracted to do five computer training classes for a local government agency. In verbal discussions and emails, the scope of the training and my fees were agreed upon, as well as the fact that no more than 15 people would be allowed to sign up for each class. I received and signed a written contract which only confirmed the scope of the training and my fees. I didn’t think the class size would be an issue since we discussed it and confirmed it in an email, but I just learned that some of the classes will have more than 15 people. I’m upset because these classes require a lot of interaction with the attendees, which becomes much more difficult if there are a lot of people in the classes. Also, my fees include the cost of giveaways based on the 15 figure, so I’ll have to spend more than planned to cover all the attendees. When I questioned the increased number of attendees, my contact said he didn’t recall this being discussed. I didn’t push back, but I really wanted to. What do you think?
Upset over change in numbers
Dear Upset over change in numbers:
I understand your dilemma and sympathize with you, but you should do what is going to be in your best interest long term. Pushing the issue could jeopardize this contract or future ones with this client. Absorbing the extra costs may be a better move, recognizing that such information should be included in your future contracts. On a side note, look at this dilemma as a positive. More, not less, individuals want to attend your classes!
© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell