Thursday, June 4, 2009

The destruction of success and the gimmee mentality

I read with interest the comments following this RJT article detailing the upcoming cuts at Twin Disc.

A dangerous gimmee mentality has evolved in this country that stands to destroy any benefit of working hard and becoming successful.

Lets say you want to be a hair stylist. You have some natural talent that you leverage by attending the best beauty schools. You sacrifice your time and energy to become one of the best stylists in town.

You get a job in a salon and soon attract a strong customer base. You notice that there are three other stylists employed there that mostly sit around, read magazines and gossip. They really don't have any regulars and make their money off the "walk ins". They never went to beauty school, nor keep up on the latest styles. They're satisfied making a tenth of what you make.

After a while, you are promoted to Head Stylist and oversee the day to day operations. Even though you have been doing well, the salon, due to the economic downturn, begins to struggle financially.

One day, the owner comes in and states that there will be layoffs and some cutbacks in services. Two of the stylists are let go.

The next day, you read in the RJT how unfair it is that these people lost their jobs. After all, look at how much money you are making. There in the article is a breakdown of your salary and tips. Why couldn't you give up half your earnings so these people could still have a job?

In the comments section of the article, the usual idiots complain about what a terrible person you are for making that much money. How can you possibly live with yourself when these people are losing their jobs?

This attitude has to change. We should applaud success, not deride it. If not, the Orwellian concept of 1984 may become harsh reality.


That'sWhatSheSaid said...

Great commentary. I was thinking the same thing when I read the comments posted on that article. It's downright scary.

Unknown said...

Well written AA.

kkdither said...

Your scenerio puts a different slant onto things, AA. We don't know that these folks who lost their jobs were slackers... They could have been very hard workers.

I think more and more it is harder for people to see upper management continuing to make huge salaries when people who are doing the dirty jobs, for much less pay, totally lose their income. Many of these people are older and will not be able to find other employment.

It is a very difficult time in the economy. I feel for those (and their families) who have gotten the worst news. Maybe I'm a socialist?

OrbsCorbs said...

I applaud rewarding those who work hard and show initiative. I deplore rewarding those who coast along, whether in management,labor, politics, or wherever. I see both types in all areas of life.

I don't know much about Twin Disc other than I have a friend who retired out of there a number of years ago.

Huck Finn said...

Your scenario is a good one IF it is the right one in this case. If the article were written about Modine layoffs, I'd tell you right out you were full of shit. Twin Disc may not be Modine and Twin Disc is also a production facility.

Lay offs at Modine has always been on ass kissing and was never based on knowledge and ability. How Modine managed to stay at the forefront had more to do with buying the small competitor before they got large.

A friend works for Unico and has told many stories of management putting the layoff during lean times vote to the workers. Not only that, but management along with the President of the company all suffer with lower pay rates along with the lowest sweepers.

Unless we work at Twin Disc, we will never know if they kept the cream, or the ass kissers. It's a hard all for an outsider to make.

AvengingAngel said...

My point is directed at the commentators, not the employees.

Overall, I find it interesting that anyone who manages to be successful is deemed to be evil in some way and should give up their money to someone else.

Why is there no reverse commentary when people like the Battens (who I do not know or with whom I have any dealings) create a company, employ hundreds if not thousands of people? Only when the business is in trouble do we suddenly find these people to be demons.

I'm sure they are not happy they have to lay people off. It probably is a very difficult decision for them.

OKIE said...

People out on the JT site are just flat out rude sometimes. I would be tempted to think some of them are teenagers with nothing better to do.
The problem is, these bloggers look at the small picture which is a small number of people losing their jobs and others taking a pay cut.
They don't see the big picture which is the company going out of business resulting in how many jobs being lost and that there would be another empty manufacturing building in Racine
to go along with the rest of them.

hale-bopp said...

Yeah, many of the commenters at the JT site are so bad that, even if I find myself in general agreement on their view, the posts are so poorly reasoned and hackish that I want to scream out, "I am NOT affiliated with them!" (Present company who may post on both sites excluded of course).

The problem stems from general corporate conduct. We have seen way too many cases where massive layoffs and pay cuts for workers leads to obscene pay for upper management and executives. We can argue over whether it was enough, but here the management took a pay cut (and there are legitimate debates to be had about executive pay in general).

One of the things that toasts my cheese is in good economic times, executive claim their brilliant leadership led to huge profits. In bad economic times, their leadership is still brilliant and all losses are the economy's fault. Heads I win, tails you lose. One of the points John Steward hammered in his smackdown of Cramer is the lionization of corporate chiefs by the financial media...many of whom turned out to be paper tigers. That's why people are cynical.

drewzepmeister said...

After reading this post a couple of times I started thinking to myself-would I take a cut in pay to help my company? Truthfully I don't know. I worked at the same place for over 20 years. I worked my a$$ off to get where I am. I've seen people come in and move up faster and pass me up in a lot less of time. Do they deserve it? I wonder...

I argee with Orb's statement. Life isn't fair. That's where the cynic in me comes in. A lot of times there's nothing I can do about except b*#@^h about it.

On the other hand, if my company fails, I'm out of a job. I don't really want to be flipping burgers for minimum wage.

SER said...

I believe there are many people out there who can retire but refuse too. To me, this doesn't help out the situation either.

Beejay said...

My brother was let go after 37 years of service with a company in Waukesha. He was in a supervisory position. No insurance (COBRA only). He was productive, took no time off except for his prostate cancer surgery. Oh yeah....did it hurt, yep. Then I had dinner with another friend of his a month or so ago and she got the axe too...same sort of scenario. She went into work and was escorted off the premises just like that! They were 'downsizing.' They move younger folks into these positions at lesser salaries. At no time did they offer a reduction in pay...nope...either walk voluntarily or else.

These large companies have no paternity towards their employees who have given them the majority of their adult lives.

Beejay said...

Oh by the way, that was the same company and both individuals were just shy of 60.