Do Gooder Fatigue? 😆
✔️ How many managers have you had that you felt were a true breath of fresh air and a bright spot in your day?
✔️ If you made a job change during The Great Resignation was it more about money or was it because you worried about the company's ability to prioritize your emotions? I'm willing to bet it was the former, not the latter.
✔️ "Back to school vibes" for grown adults. 🙄
✔️ Larry Winget's book It's Called Work For a Reason doesn't really account for what happens when Corpo America doesn't live up to its side of the bargain, IMO. I mean . . . *gestures towards the Enron scandal*
Links I mention in this episode:
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So if you have a boss right now, if not think back to the last one that you had. Would you say that that person was sunny sunshine or Suzy cream cheese? Just emitted an aura of positivity. You really enjoyed being around them. They encouraged you. They were supportive. They were just a breath of fresh air every time they walked in. There's an old saying that everyone brightens the room. somebody walking in and somebody walking out. Do you feel that your boss was that way? Or if you're working for someone now do you feel like your boss is that way? I feel like fortune.com has been a treasure trove no pun intended lately, and not in a good way. So I want to read from this article for you now, titled bosses have do gooder fatigue. They're done caring about your well being. Bosses are tired of being the nice guy and executive Headhunter told the Financial Times that leaders are experiencing do gooder fatigue, from prioritizing workers well being during the pandemic. Now that the return to Office push is in full effect the feeling is we need to get back to business. They said as 4 million plus workers quit their jobs every month during the height of the great resignation. Managers pulled out all the stops to recruit and retain them. One of the keys to workers hearts mental health efforts at a time of high burnout and anxiety. Employees care that their workplace cares about them. And companies have been listening. 66% of employers changed their policies this past year to support the well being of their workers. According to NFPs 2022 US employer benefits survey, they began speaking more openly about mental health in the workplace, expanded mental health benefits and let employees work from home for better work life balance. But prioritizing worker burnout has left managers burnt out. Gallup found their stress levels increased significantly from 2020 to 2021. And after several Coronavirus variance sorted past efforts to bring workers back to their desks employers are ready for an official return, claiming that remote work has been hurting business. Labor Day may have been the turning point bringing major back to school vibes for many workers as companies like Apple, Comcast and peloton all mandated a hybrid policy. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, who already ordered employees back to the office full time announced that the investment bank was lifting all COVID restrictions. Employers are trying to regain the upper hand in the labor market, but it's coming at the cost of employee wellbeing. 1/3 said in a McKinsey survey that their return to work was hurting their mental health workers who have been accustomed to a new way of work are up for a battle now that the balance of power is shifting into quote. Yeah, okay. I mean, how many of you listening today feel that you currently have a boss that you would categorize as a do gooder? Or maybe you historically have had bosses that you would consider to be do gooders? I'm willing to bet that probably the majority of you would say no. Most of the time, not all the time, to be fair, but most of the time, when people leave a job, when they're prioritizing the reasons why they left, having a frontline manager, who they did not like they didn't feel was supportive, they thought it was a snake in the grass, etc. That's usually the number one reason Yes, there are other factors involved like pay benefits, unable to take time off the job became repetitive, didn't see any upward mobility, etc. All of that is important. But if you're in a company that hmm, maybe the jobs kind of ho hum or the company itself is not really something that you're particularly crazy about. But your immediate supervisor is awesome. That can make a huge difference. Likewise, even if everything else is spectacular, you're paid well, the benefits are good, but your immediate supervisor is Hell on Wheels and you just want to get away from them every time they want. Look into your office or into your cube. You just feel very tense and sick to your stomach. It's awful. And it can drive you out of an otherwise great environment. It can't. So I'm just sitting here like, where are all these do gooder bosses? What? Where are they? One point I want to make here is that the gloves are very much off. You know, I've said for a while now that corporate America is not burying its thesis when they're saying right here in this fortune.com article. Bosses are tired of being the nice guy. So even though I'm sitting here, probably you are two going want. Well, when were they I would love to know when when that was anyway. And is it also says in this article, the feeling is we need to get back to business. They said it's kind of like, Okay, we're done. With the pageantry. We're done with the theatrics of it. We want you to get back in the cubicle, it's time for you to come on that be button. See, we're not going to play pretend that we care about your feelings. We're not going to give a tip of the hat to the idea of empathy and compassion. We're done with that. Okay, it was play acting the whole time we did it because well, global pandemic we thought we had to. But now we want your butt super glued to that seat. Don't give us any lip. Don't give us any back talk. You just sit down, hush up and do what you're told. Wow. I published an article on medium.com titled laying down the law which I took from an article because that's how this whole RTO push has really played out. Workers have talked about how they were happier and more productive at home. They don't really want to go back. But yet, here's this push the language around it is like an angry parent or an angry teacher. be raising a kid on the playground. You've had your fun at home. As though working from home has just been one big party. Maybe for somebody somewhere it has been you know, I sort of think this is like anecdotal stuff about the do gooder bosses on some other planet in some alternate universe, then there are a whole cluster of do gooder bosses, along with workers who have treated work from home as one big party. Okay, yeah, maybe I need to go find that alternate reality. Sure. There is a post published on LinkedIn. I'll drop a link to it so you can see it for yourself. And the blurb for that article reads, Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer and in many companies, it may be the end of working from home. After countless delays, many C suites are laying down the law telling employees to return to the office for real this time. And quote, exactly. It's like the veneer has been stripped away. Although I'm still personally skeptical of this idea of the do gooder boss who just cares so much. We're now moving from the carrot to the stick, laying down the law, get your butt back in the cubicle or it's your job. I also wrote a blog post titled The Fat fire fire festival where I kind of poke fun a bit at this fat fire notion. I want to read from that for you now because I also include a passage from Larry wing gets book. Regardless of the nomenclature, fat fire is just hustle culture repackaged with a different name in my opinion, and hustle culture for that matter was just another name for the promise of work hard for us now. We'll take care of you later. Weinke Larry Winget extols this notion in his 2006 book, it's called work for a reason, your success is your own damn fault. In that book, he tells the story of his father working for Sears for 47 years, which immediately made me think of my grandmother who did the same. When you and your employer decided that you were going to work together, you made a deal. The deal was you would show up when they told you to, and you would do what they paid you to do. For that you would receive an amount of money that you agreed to, the deal was struck and all agreed, that was probably just about all that was included. Of course, there were details and some papers were probably signed. But I'll pretty much guarantee you that in the fine print on those forms you were signing, they didn't promise you that you would be happy. And they didn't promise that your co workers were going to be perfect little angels who loved and adored you. And they didn't say that you wouldn't get tired or mad or sad or have your feelings hurt. You just struck the deal based on the work and the money. You provide the work and they provide the money where you wing it. So what happens when they don't live up to their part of the bargain? I remember reading this book on my lunch break when I had to go back to corporate America with my tail tucked between my legs. After my first business failed. God I was miserable. I guess reading misery porn like that book was a way to sell flagellate and assume that everything that went wrong was my My own damn fault. As he goes on to discuss his father rarely missing work, even when sick and not suing when he was injured on the job. He doesn't mention things like, oh, I don't know, the Enron scandal. I was a young adult when that crap happened. And let me tell you, it makes one hell of an impression when you see people crying on TV because they'll never retire. They plan to, but they were hit with a pretty terrible slap in the face and quote, and quote on my phone quote, yeah, that's the thing. And I feel like that's one of the irritating things about pushing the message of personal responsibility to the nth degree. Yes, personal responsibility is important. And yes, for the record, I think we could use a good stiff dose of it. In this world. I feel like there are people who have been to college, I feel like there are people who have been spoiled, the least little thing and they're just ready to throw in the towel and give up. Yes, those people exist. I suspect those people have always existed. I don't think that being spoiled rotten by your parents or grandparents doting on you all the time, and not having any stick to it entity is just some brand new concept that was recently invented. I'm pretty sure there have been people like that around since forever. But what this message of everything is your own damn fault. You're responsible for everything. What it misses is, what about the circumstances where you're not. Now I remember reading this awful story about a woman who was in college and she got hurt by a drunk driver, she was just driving on the road minding her own business and got mowed down by a drunk driver, and had some pretty significant injuries from that crash. And it led her to have to drop out of college while she still had student loans. For the time that she was in college. She had to go through physical therapy, her parents were both deceased. So she did not have any immediate family members to fall back on. And it's like, how are you going to sit there and say, that being mowed down by a drunk driver? is somehow that woman's own fault? If you do, there's something wrong with you, if that's what you really think. It also doesn't take into account the times when these bankers and fat cats and high rollers in corporate America have mercilessly screwed the little guy. And they have, you know, it's like if you we have such a bizarre dichotomy in this country, and it's really ridiculous, in my opinion. But it's like, if you speak out against the state, then you must automatically be a right winger. But if you speak out against corporate America and Wall Street and the bankers and the fat cats, then you get painted as some kind of pinko commie. And it's like, wait a minute, I'm not either of those things. Not everybody with you know, like a working brain and some common sense can so easily be put on a left, right, this or that political spectrum. I'm politically agnostic on this podcast anyway. I feel like it for me coming from staffing and recruiting and having a front row seat to the job market for all of these years, as well as a front row seat to the way that hiring managers really think the conversations that really go on behind closed doors that the general public is not privy to. I just feel compelled to speak out against certain things. No, we don't live in a perfect world, we don't have a utopia and we never will miss kind of the point I'm making about individuals that are spoiled rotten. Those people have always been with us people that if they try something new, and they're not immediately good at it, they want to take their ball and go home. Those people have been around forever. And I think sort of over emphasizing those individuals and society might just be a waste of time. Not everything does boil down to you being in complete control of everything and everyone going on around you. Can you imagine how much easier life would be if your if your life was just its own little fiefdom and everyone that ever entered into your realm did exactly what you said and exactly what you wanted. It might also get pretty boring to I think it would probably eliminate spontaneity. But let's get real here. As I wrote in my blog post, but that's what these commentators so often miss, what if corporate America takes your labor, but doesn't hold up its side of the bargain. What then? Mean Larry talks about this trade of labor that his father made with Sears, my grandmother did the same thing. I've talked before about how she was a telephone operator for Sears for I don't even know how many decades, but it was at the time when getting the Sears catalog was a BFD. I mean that that was a huge deal people couldn't wait to see adult basically it was like this. Adults couldn't wait to see the clothes and the doodads and the kids couldn't wait to see the toys. When you got that Sears Christmas catalog that was just like heaven on earth, and you were so excited to see what was in there for that season. Times change, of course, I don't even think I'm not even sure Sears is still around now. And the last thing I read about them was that depressing article where the seer sign was like laying by the dumpsters behind the building. But my point is, you know, Larry doesn't go into Okay, well, what would have happened? If your dad was supposed to get his gold watch and pension and they said, oh, sorry, Boucher, we've gone bankrupt. So all of the stuff that you were supposed to get to make sure that you got to enjoy your retirement years, well, that's all gone. But yet, for people of my generation, we've seen that play out over and over again, too big to fail. And Enron and these scoundrels that abscond with millions upon millions upon billions of dollars. Oh, and then they never see a day in jail. We get asked for our sweet taxpayer money to bail them out, and nothing bad ever happens to them. something bad happens to us, but it never happens to them. And we get told we get oh, in the holiest of holy sack of Bibles, they swear it'll never happen again. And then it does. You give it 10 to 15 years max. And then here they are again. So I think it's very frustrating. I think it's short sighted. And it's frustrating to say if you just give these people your labor, they will take care of you. I think that's BS on either side of the argument now, okay, just my opinion. And I could be wrong. But I think it's BS. And I don't think it matters. I don't draw much differentiation between whether we're talking about the state or we're talking about the Wall Street fat cats in corporate America. I don't think it matters whether whether you're looking at it as well, if I just tow the line and I do what I'm supposed to do, then grandpa government will take care of me and they'll do right by me and they'll send me my checks. Okay. Or if you say if I toe the line, and I do what's right, and I sit in this cubicle and I shut up, then grandpa, corporate America will do what's best for me. And we'll make sure that I have my pension and my benefits and my gold watch. Okay, we just don't live in that world anymore. So yes, personal responsibility is important. And I've talked more than a few times about having a job loss survival plan, I would say it's really important to whether you're planning for some kind of traditional retirement or a non traditional retirement, to figure out how do you plan on making ends meet later in life? Do you want to continue working? Do you not? Do you feel like your investments are solid? And then one even what would we even consider to be solid investments anymore? It's all just digits on the screen. Ya read that article about Bill Murray raising? I think it was $200,000 for charity and crypto and it was stolen by a hacker within a matter of minutes. We just live in such a weird, ever changing world. It's hard for me too. Imagine what it must have been like. Even just a couple of generations ago. The idea of okay you do this you work for a living you get the pension and the gold watch and then your retirement years you do whatever you want. You get a Winnebago and go see the grandkids you want to go camping every night, do whatever. Just I think for those of us Gen X and below. That's such a remote, long ago idea that we'll never get to see. So I'm like where where is this alternate reality? Where are the do gooder bosses that come in like Suzy cream cheese and sunny sunshine every day? I'd love to know where they are. Where are the people who feel like work from home has been one big party, they've been able to just kick back and drink beer and get paid to do it. Where Who are these people feel like Seinfeld? Again? Who are these people that feel like, you know, no matter what the state and corporate America will somehow do what's right and take care of them and everything will be okay. And they can put trust in corporate America and everything that happens to you one way or the other is your own damn fault. Even if it's very plainly not your fault. It's still somehow your fault. What What kind of weird clown world is this? Another thing that Larry talks about in that book is like, well, the packages still have to be shipped. The phones still have to be answered. The files still have to be filed. The numbers have to be calculated work has to go on whether you're feeling like it or not. As a business owner, I do understand that. I would say even more So I understand it from an agricultural perspective, I've talked before about it doesn't matter. If you're raising animals, and you're taking care of a parcel of land, what you're feeling and that on that particular day is really not relevant. It does not matter if it's burning hot, freezing cold, snow, sleet, rain, whatever, you're gonna have to get out there and do what you have to do to take care of your animals, period, end of discussion. I've been out at times where I was pelted with both torrential rain and hailstones and I couldn't even hardly see to get into the barn to get shelter and do what I needed to do to round up hay and feed and all that. So again, it I do understand this notion of certain things have to be done, regardless of how you're feeling on that particular day. 100% understood, this is part of the life that I lead, being involved in farming and ranching, I get it. Where I have trepidation about that idea is when we, when we use it as justification to put blind faith in any institution. Regardless, doesn't matter if we're talking about the state. It doesn't matter if we're talking about corporate America, blind faith in anything scares the dickens out of me. It really does. Because it's like, what happens if they don't hold up their end of the bargain. If you drag into work, even when you're sick, you go up there, you get injured on the job, you don't say anything, whatever, like the stories that Larry tells in the book, you do all of that. And then when it's your turn, to cash in on the retirement and the gold watch, and the retirement party with the cake and ice cream and all that they say you know what, we're so sorry, but it's just not in our budget anymore. And unfortunately, I do think we will see more of that happen as we go into whatever this is recession, depression, hyperinflation, 70s, era stagflation, whatever, whatever this may be. That's brewing up. The great, the great recession 2.0 we will probably see more of that. I remember, during the great recession, the we had been getting bonuses at work, of course, those went away. There was no more 401k contributions or matches. I mean, it was like a lot of what they considered to be fringe benefits went away. It was like, well, we'll pay you. But there's no more overtime, there's no more 401k There's no more bonus, there's no more profit share, like you're just gonna have to show up and get what we give you. Basically, I feel like we will see more of that, perhaps even worse, it's just going to depend on how bad this contraction is. Because I don't recall inflation being to this degree. The last time around. I do remember gas prices were high and having to like really think out your trips and plan ahead. But I don't remember it just week upon week upon week, every time you went in $1 General or every time you went in the grocery store to get something it was more expensive than it was the last time you to the point where employees can't even keep up with the price hikes anymore. I don't remember it being like that when you would go to the store. I remember being able to set a budget for the groceries and the household necessities and be able to stick with it pretty well so I just don't think the prices were that insane and ever changing at that point in time. So this could be even worse. I hope not not trying to sound like Debbie downer but it could be so I think this notion of the the boss as a do gooder and as Suzy cream cheese or a sunny sunshine and everybody's just been partying at home. They're flush with cash from the 2020s, Demi's and putting blind faith in your job the Don't worry, they're gonna hook you up. They're gonna take care of you. Your feelings don't matter. You don't matter. Whatever happens in life is your own damn fault. Okay, wake up, up, up up. Just yeah, yeah. Okay, sure, sure it is sure it is layer. Okay. What a crazy time to be alive. Just gonna go wax philosophical for a while. In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane. And I will see you in the next episode. Thanks for tuning in. 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