Thursday 10 September 2015

Intelligence and Hard Work

I spent my life working for the government at first and then a Crown Corporation which is in effect the same thing. The only difference is that the government of the day could be seen to get out of competing directly with private enterprise. Personally, I don’t see the problem as long as the government runs on an adequately funded, well run and forward thinking business model. Oh…I see the problem now.

Part of the complaint against government run businesses is that they don’t have to be efficient because if they run out of money the government will back them financially. To some extent this is a true statement, but surprisingly it doesn’t happen as often as you are led to believe. For the most part Crown Corporations perform very well. No, they generally don’t do as well as their private competitors, but they have a different set of circumstances they have to adhere to.

The government has a mandate to perform certain services for the general population and guarantee that the electors will benefit. It is staffed for the most part by union workers or members of some association and they are protected from losing their job because some boss decides on a whim to let them go. Just as the jobs expectations are clearly spelled out in the contract, so too are the responsibilities of the employer to that worker. It is a symbiotic relationship with each side feeling they got the worse of the bargain. That is as it should be.

Private enterprise also provides services, but for them it is profit that drives the corporate engine. They don’t have to worry about voters but rather investors are who they need to keep happy. To do that they continually look for ways to shave down operating costs. The easiest and fastest way to save money is to trim the labour force or certainly to cut down on their benefits. Often, the jobs in these places are fun and the work can be exciting. The pay is competitive and why worry about benefits and pensions, you are young and healthy.

The problem occurs when things don’t go as planned and you get sick or God forbid you start to age. Most companies understand if you are sick, well, for a while anyways. The bottom line is that if you are too ill to do the job then they can’t afford to keep you on salary. Up until the 70’s in Canada, a woman would keep being pregnant a secret for as long as possible so that they wouldn’t lose their job. Luckily, the government has passed laws that ordain companies must keep the woman’s position open for one year so that she might begin to raise her child without fear of being unemployed.

Some companies that are less than desirable places to work will keep the job open (they have to) and welcome the new mother back. Well, until an acceptable time passes and then they will lay off that mother. We all know that new moms take too much time off from work and it is a better than even bet she will be pregnant again within a year or two causing more difficulties at work. We all understand what scum bags do this.

Unfortunately, there is little or no recourse. Even if you did have a valid case against the company, it would cost too much in legal fees to fight the termination and would you really want to work for a company that treats the employees like that?

NO! It is far better to count your blessings and start looking for some place to work that values intelligence and hard work.

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