Taken For Granted
My daughter and I were having what was an interesting conversation earlier this morning. We touch base most mornings for me to get a virtual kiss from my granddaughter and a quick chat. The discussion coincidentally ties into the post planned for this afternoon.
“Taken For Granted: How To Stop Being The Victim,” is the working title and it will be a two-part article on how to understand why people in your life assume you will always be ready to give. Are you the one giving them this impression and how can you change it?
That is later today but in this our morning post, the issue that my daughter and I were discussing was when YOU are the one taking someone or something for granted. Specifically, we were talking about employment.
Plagued By Absenteeism
Both my daughter and I are employed as manager/supervisor and we are responsible for recruiting, hiring and managing staff. Our chat earlier had us both wailing about the challenges of our positions when it comes to absenteeism. This can be literally a life and death issue for an organization or company here in Alberta, Canada where the supply of potential employees is far less than the demand for them.
The news reports every day tell us that Alberta is in or some say we are entering a recession due to the drop in oil prices. It seems that there are many more people than I thought who do not watch, listen or read news reports in this province, or let me restrict that to Edmonton where we live. The difficulties in finding qualified and willing to work employees continues to be a big issue for many businesses.
What is more, some of those employed clearly are unaware that the economy is about to take a nosedive, according to these reports, and so it might be a good idea to put the best foot forward on the job – and come to work barring illness and emergencies.
To Be Absent Or Present And Do Nothing?
Between us, my daughter and I, the amount of man-hours lost due to absences is very high. People call in an absence at the last-minute – very sick or at least contagious – or their cat had a bad night and so they did not sleep well. The reasons that I have heard for absences over the past 15 months in my current position and my daughter in the last three in hers could cover two blog posts!
Life happens and things do not go as planned but often times as I listen to the explanation why in an age of rapidly evolving technology, smart phones, WiFi access just about everywhere in big cities such as mine, how do you process one that basically says, “I wasn’t able to call in, earlier or at all?”
On the other hand is the concern with an increase in “presenteeism” – “the act of attending work while sick. A topic that is at times considered its opposite, absenteeism, has historically received extensive attention in the management sciences.” (Source: Wikipedia) Do you go to work and hang out and infect the entire office to avoid your pay cheque being docked or worse yet being reprimanded or fired for too many absences? Although presenteeism can seem alarming for employers and employees who are concerned with not becoming ill, it’s not as big of an issue as long as methods of containing the spread are implemented. For example, using a cleaning company like Green Facilities (you can check these rave reviews on their website) can kill bacteria and greatly reduce the spread of bacteria. In this case, presenteeism seems much more trouble-free than absenteeism.
I noticed a news report that Justin Trudeau, one of the contenders for the job of Prime Minister of Canada, is proposing to help families balance the demands of work and home life, ” promising certain employees the right to request flexible hours as well as increased parental leave.” That is a laudable promise and one that well-deserving and hardworking parents most certainly will be happy to use. What concerns me are those, parents or non-parents, who either will ask, negotiate for and receive flexible working hours and then become dissatisfied with what they negotiated and agreed to, leaving the organization out on a limb.
At The Core Of The Problem Is – You
It is a thin line – this issue of entitlement, balance and taking time off for legitimate reasons.
We all want the best of everything, some feel entitled to it and I will not debate that. What is at issue here is when we begin to take our access to employment opportunities, healthcare and so many other services that are almost non-existent in other places for granted. Basically, when we play the system – wanting everything but not willing to give back or pay forward to the business’ customers with good service.
That is my beef and as conservative as it might sound it is not about politics, or taking the side of employers because of my daughter’s or my supervisory role. At issue here is the same principle that have always prevailed – you get what you give.
As employees, while it is more than fair to expect and want a living wage, great benefits, healthy working environment, etc, it is equally “fair” that we give back to the organizations that offer these things a full day’s work, great service to its customers and respect not abuse of the benefits that come with the job.
That is my position and I am sticking to it.
Later, the afternoon post will turn the light on what to do when you are on the receiving end and you are being taken for granted at work, at home or in your relationship. Do subscribe and receive updates of all our articles when they post as well as my monthly newsletter.
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