- Date published:
7:00 am, May 6th, 2019 - 58 comments
Categories: employment, jobs, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, unemployment - Tags: courtesy, firing, impersonal treatment, job losses, respect
For some reason, this story struck a nerve. An 80-year old had his 59-year career terminated by an impersonal e-mail from a faceless manager. Ironically, the manager on his public LinkedIn profile likes a post entitled “Treat a janitor with the same respect as the CEO”.
Isn’t it sad that we now treat people as liabilities and cost posts in a general ledger account rather than individuals? It doesn’t seem to matter whether you have proven your loyalty, commitment, and dedication when Health & Safety considerations, for example, or ‘restructuring’ or ‘reorganising’ of the business, dictate your removal and/or replacement. They don’t even seem to know your name or make an attempt to retrieve it from a file. There’s no excuse for it. In the past, you had to walk down the corridor, find the appropriate person who had to dig for a folder in a filing cabinet to find a first name, for example. Nowadays, it’s all on bloody file at your fingertips.
Of all people, one would like to think that somebody in charge of Events and Experience in the Arts scene would be more people-focussed. Alas, when one works for the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency it is clearly about business, first and foremost, and much less so about people.
Unfair, you might say. Well, actions speak louder than words, don’t they?
Have people grown more inconsiderate (of other people)? Have people become intrinsically more self-centred? Can’t we or don’t we want to see the other human behind the name, face, or position? Do we really prefer the impersonal ‘personalised’ spaces created for us (!) by so-called Social Media? It seems so.
I’m struggling to avoid cold cynicism when I read this item and although the man at the receiving end in the story doesn’t seem to act like a victim or wronged person, I think he is. We all are, when we are being treated like this.
My point is not, to be absolutely clear, that we should not let this happen to others and us. My point is that we should not do this to others but treat them with respect and courtesy; they deserve it as much as we do so why give them any less? It is not much to ask but apparently harder and harder to practice. Now, here’s something we can do without waiting for leaders to lead us.