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Impropriety

June 22, 2011

I won’t go so far as to say that meeting was a waste of time, but I think if you really want feedback at a company like this, you need to prepare for the possibility that it will be mostly negative.

 

I mean yes, I like working here.  It’s not super stressful, I get to use my own judgement sometimes, I like having Mondays off.  But they need to acknowledge the bad stuff.  We don’t know if we’ll be outsourced or if our building will even be open in two years.  The building itself is a disgusting mess.  As I’ve said before, my manager only exists in theory.  Getting time off approved is a nightmare.  What kind of balls does an HR person need to come in here and ask us what we think, and then tell us not to make it negative.  Ridiculous.  Truth is truth.

 

My uncle had his first heart attack when he was in his lower 30s.  I can remember my dad wearing a heart monitor when I was a kid, and he had open heart surgery in 2009.  Knowing that, I can’t work at a place that pushes people to their limit and doesn’t let them improve their situation.  I have to be able to reliably get time off, I need to work in a place where everyone does their share.  This feeble attempt at putting on the appearance of improving things has reminded me just how bad I need to move forward.

 

There’s a recurring phrase in American ethics regulations: “we must avoid even the appearance of impropriety.”  I like that.  There’s an innocence about that statement that’s hard to describe.  An appearance is available to anyone.  It’s saying we care so much about being honest and fair that we even want the confidence and trust of the least of us.  It’s not concerned about audits or about the letter of the law, it’s concerned about whether the average worker can trust the people who ultimately benefit from their work.

That definitely isn’t true here.  All this HR stuff feels phony.  I think it kind of shows the cracks in the facade of the rest of the structure here.  The people in our meeting were saying, yes we have an open door policy but we’ve been here over a decade and every time it was used as intended, the person got moved, fired, or otherwise punished.  Yes there’s a process in place to request time off, but we all have our own responsibilities that are so vital that we don’t even bother requesting off, and we’re so understaffed that it’s never going to change.

Patience is a virtue, but desperately staying in a bad situation is something else entirely.

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