How did you lose pride in your work?

Link sharing site reddit asked its users a really interesting question:

What work moment made your attitude go from proud employee to “I’m just here for the paycheck”?

The answers are incredibly interesting (if not a little depressing) and roughly fall into 3 categories. Here they are with some examples.

The examples also bear out the research that shows that even star employees resort to bad behavior when they feel mistreated at work.

1: Bad bosses

When the owners and GM looked at my prostate cancer as a major inconvenience – for them.

When they bitched about my being out for cancer surgery – and I’d been out less than two weeks.

When I was back after two weeks wearing a fucking diaper because I was afraid of losing my job because of cancer.

Then they expected me to be concerned whether they made a profit. Yeah, that’s likely.

For 7 years I had a boss who valued the work people did, and didn’t care how you arrived at the end product. Motivated and innovative employees were recognized and generally received additional responsibility and challenges.

Then came the new boss, who was the text book example of micro manager, and ran the department like it was a 50’s assembly line. Watched the amount of time people took breaks, watched the minute people arrived, and the minute they left. Achievements were no longer recognized and employees were just cogs in a wheel.

If there is no incentive to do anything more than the minimum amount of effort, the minimum amount of effort will be done.

A change of boss.

We went from someone positive and inspiring to work for to a dolt without vision or concern for employee morale or motivation.

2: Unfair treatment

When the new guy who relies on me to do his job got promoted.

The company cut out a whole department and transferred their duties to my department. Now we must do two people’s jobs for a 52˘/hr raise and the strict no overtime policy remains.

Fast forward 3 months and the company flies all the managers (3,000+) from across the US to Florida for a meeting where they rent out an amusement park and have a concert by a well known artist.

Needless to say, I’m now the saltiest of salty employees.

Both of my mentors — two ladies who saw potential in me that I didn’t and helped me turn my life around — were fired (packaged out) within a week of each other. Fired by people who had only started a few months before and then themselves quit a few months later.

3: Being asked to do something unethical

When I was told to peel the ‘re-manufactured’ sticker off of the back of the ‘new’ instruments we were installing for a customer.

Found out that the product reps were giving a ton of free product to the store for the managers to distribute to the sales team.

The reps would even give the managers the option of getting a few display-only models for customers to check out or giving products directly to the sales team for them to describe to the customers. The managers would blatantly lie to the reps and say that giving them to the sales team would help their sales the most, and then the managers would just take all of it.

Then these same managers would blame the sales team 100% for poor numbers, at our no commission position.

If they’re only looking out for themselves, then I’m doing that exact same thing.

At a grocery store: When for 2.5 years I warned that someone was going to slip and fall on the faulty loading dock for the trucks because a drip in the ceiling wasn’t being fixed by the company or the landlord who owned the building. On top of the the thing kept breaking.

I griped loud enough and the solution was to send us pretty much this. Since unloading the trucks was a one person job, having one person drag this 165 pound ramp around was a hazard in itself, we just couldn’t use it.

So, inevitably, someone slipped and fell on the old ramp. And only at that point, and some payout that was kept private, did they replace the faulty ramp we had.

Read the whole thread here and for cryin’ out loud: Stop doing this kind of crap to dedicated employees.

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2 thoughts on “How did you lose pride in your work?”

  1. Oh my! These stories are horrific! The right people aught to read these and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!

    And just a few weeks ago I listened to a TED talk about how some women are forced to go back to work within weeks of giving birth.

    When will we see a revolution in the corporate world?!

    Makes me depressed :/

  2. Oh wow, these all sound horrible! I’ve had bad bosses (thankfully most of my bosses have been good). I’m just grateful that I’ve never been asked to do anything unethical.

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